There is a universal truth about life which is often forgotten, in that when we are first brought into the world we are innocent. Guilt is actually something imposed upon us by adults, but as children it is impossible for us to understand such things. Even our conception is a process which occurs out of our control. Our supposed “birthright” is therefore completely out of our hands, whether we are born from the union of two paupers or two monarchs.
As soon as we are able to make decisions we can either honour our privilege or reject it. We can strive hard to overcome our disadvantage or merely succumb to our fate. All human beings struggle with this, some regret their life choices but there are others who are thankful for making them. In the fable “The Little Prince” the eponymous hero descends upon our planet with wide eyed fascination. His naivety and unworldliness are heroic as he bears no malice, prejudice or even any ulterior motive. He is simply curious.
The author of this fable was Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the same writer of “The Wind, Sand and the Stars”. He was born into privilege but he later became an author and war hero as a pilot during the Second World War. His greatest literary achievements were inspired by his adventures. His missions were mainly undertaken at night, a time when people feel a peculiar sense, a kind of “dark night of the soul”. He also felt this, alone, afraid, in darkness and travelling above a distant world, he nonetheless created his greatest ideas whilst flying.
The Nazis preached their abhorrent philosophies while Saint-Exupery figuratively and even literally shot them down. The worst theory invented by the Nazis was blood purity. Scientifically speaking this is nonsense as blood has the same level of purity in all human beings. However ethically and morally these policies lead to the darkest period of our human civilization. The Nazis believed that they were the “master race” and also the sole custodians of art and culture. They believed that they were superior and they initiated a regime of death and destruction against so-called “degenerates”.
Thankfully the Nazis did not win, and many lives were saved through Allied efforts. In spite of the privations and indignities of war, hope and courage did not die, but most importantly the notion that our “blood” controls our destiny was banished.