Every time you open "The Little Prince", who do you think of and what memories do you remember? In the eighty years since its publication, the blonde boy has visited back, every wounded, confused, lonely soul soothed by his company. The same is true for former Culture Minister Zheng Lijun. She has always been a fan of "The Little Prince", and this time she transformed from a reader into a translator, translating in her own words to pay tribute to this classic work.

"I read The Little Prince for the first time in rebellious high school."

Perhaps because she has always walked the path of love, Zheng Lijun recently had a magical realization:

When I was in high school, I was obviously not twenty years old, but I felt that I was no longer young; Now that I am over fifty years old, I feel so young that I can do many things!

Zheng Lijun

After saying that, he revealed a shy smile.

She said that although she was no longer young, there was still a little prince shining in her heart.

Photo courtesy | Cheng Lijun

Ask her what kind of person does she think the little prince in her heart is? "Actually, I'm a shy person," she said with a shy smile, "but I'm curious about myself and the world, and I want to do something, change something, even if it's just a little bit." 」

From her youth to the present, Zheng Lijun wants to live seriously and live a good life, and the original intention of life has always been there, and the little prince has never been far away.

Since high school, studying in France, holding public office to becoming a mother, former Minister of Culture Zheng Lijun and "The Little Prince" have met four times, plus this time personally translated, and met familiar old friends.

Roses are not just love, but all the things you water with the years

"What impressed me most in high school was the metaphor of the hat and the various alienations of human society that the little prince saw when he traveled around the planet." Recalling herself when she was young and when she first sprouted her social consciousness, Zheng Lijun seemed to have changed back into a child, and her eyes shone brightly about her first meeting with the little prince.

Later, she went to France to study, and the original text was "The Little Prince" in French, which naturally became her first French reading.

"When I was in my twenties, love was the thing I cared about most at that time, so I was deeply attracted by the relationship between the little prince and the rose and the fox." 」

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When I saw the metaphor of the rose when I was young, I subconsciously thought of love. But for Zheng Lijun now, roses are all the things you take over the years to irrigate.

"Whether it's loving a child or doing something, the time we spend on things makes those things important." In the past, she used to create a freer society for Taiwan in her public office, so that everyone could become themselves. In the past two years, she stepped down from public office, focused on her family, and returned to serve as the chairman of the Youth Platform Foundation to establish the Sustainable Democracy Research Center.

Some people say that I am returning to my family, but I don't feel it, because the family has always been there. People often switch in different roles, but between different roles, there is actually a 'me' walking through this life course.

Zheng Lijun

Zheng Lijun saw it very clearly and was not trapped by the external form and role.

"Whether you are a legislator or a minister, that is a way and a method, not an end in itself. Similarly, being a parent doesn't mean I need to put down my ideals in life."

Just like when she returned to Taiwan from France and began to hold public office, Zheng Lijun often quoted the classic sentence in the book: "The things that really matter are invisible to the eyes."

Different from typical politicians, Zheng Lijun often does basic skills, such as promoting the "Basic Law of Culture" and "National Language Development Law", which are not political achievements that can see results in a moment and a half, but an important foundation for laying the foundation for cultural development.

When she is not understood, she often uses this sentence to encourage herself: "Do something worthwhile, don't be kitsch, and work hard for the things you love."

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There is a love for what you do, and this responsibility arises, and this responsibility is not an external pressure, not a moral code, but a responsibility that you naturally want to embrace, want to do, born of love. So they all became roses.

Choosing to love and give is the nature of our lives, and it also makes us the subject of love.

Zheng Lijun

The child took me to re-polish my eyes and learn to let go and let him run

After becoming a mother, Zheng Lijun read not only for herself, but also for her children, hoping to let the children know: "The world is sometimes very complicated, and adults often fall into the cage they have built, but don't forget who you are." 」

In the process of translation, the son became the first reader, Zheng Lijun always picked up the lamp alone after he went to sleep, and then gave the translation to his son the next day to collect first-hand feedback.

The son has a special feeling for the role of the "lamplighter", because he is the only one in the book, who not only cares about himself, is willing to serve others, and is also the person who the little prince wants to be a friend.

"In fact, isn't every child like the original character of the little prince, full of curiosity, naïve and persistent?" 」 The child took her to re-polish her eyes.

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Becoming a mother is also like stepping on a new planet for Zheng Lijun, children sometimes bring great challenges, and it is not easy to be a mother. "I sometimes challenge myself not to be angry, to tell myself that being angry is the last resort, and to think about whether there is any other way to communicate with my child." 」 Zheng Lijun revealed a rare bitter smile.

She confessed that to let go and let the child grow up on his own, it was actually full of struggles: "I would like to book a better world for the child and bear something for him, but I also experienced in this process that life must go through and experience it by itself." 」

"Man must ultimately become himself and then go down the path of his life. You can't be him, you can't replace him." When she said this, Zheng Lijun showed her pity for her child.

But she quickly continued: "But between people, there can be some companionship, some support, that is the best part of the relationship." 」 At the same time, you are also on your own path."

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Knowing that parents and children are independent of each other, no one can replace anyone, and there is no need for anyone's sacrifice and dedication, what we can do is to share with each other and accompany each other.

Also because she has traveled a long way, Zheng Lijun gradually understands that life has its resilience, and everyone is creating a path you can take.

Although we can't ask where we will eventually go, as long as we are at ease and keep walking on the road we expect, it is good.

Zheng Lijun

Zheng Lijun said that in addition to praying for her child to grow up safely and healthily, she also hopes that he will become a helpful person to the world, "even if it is only a little, it is good." As much as she expected of herself.

The working family has its own trichotomy, remembering that I am also a rose

Pouring love into the ideal and children, Zheng Lijun also did not forget, treating herself as a beloved rose, nourishing and caring for it well.

"I now use the 'rule of thirds' to allocate time to work, my family, and myself."

Time doesn't have to be neatly cut into three equal parts, but every day there is a period of time for yourself, whether it's being alone, reading, chatting with friends, or even going outside for a walk, taking a walk, "nourish yourself, so that you have the strength to do the other two parts as you wish."

Zheng Lijun said that women's efforts are easily taken for granted, "we often feel that we have to take them for granted." Therefore, we must remind you to put your love for the world back on yourself.

Photo courtesy | Cheng Lijun

She looked back on her fifty-year-old life, and there had been setbacks and stumbles, but in general, she remembered that she would smile.

In fact, older life, if you seriously walk through, is a beautiful process.

Zheng Lijun

In this process, she did not forget and abandon herself, but spent all her time to experience and experience everything she loved. Because she always remembers the reminder that "The Little Prince" brought to us:

With the promise of life, in a difficult world, we still retain the power of goodness, constantly face it, and live as we ourselves expect.

Zheng Lijun

The classics are not an absolute authority set on a statue, and every time you read them, you are talking to yourself with the most personal life experience of the moment. Zheng Lijun finally stressed: "This is my own 'Little Prince', and everyone can have their own version."

Don't forget to remind that space exists, you are free, Zheng Lijun is always like this, I want to invite everyone to work together.

Repeatedly departing and longing to go home, he traveled to the planet, but he still did not forget his favorite rose. In this complicated chaotic world, Zheng Lijun invites us to re-read "The Little Prince" and look back at our hearts together, where there is a most original self.

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Interview afterword

At the beginning of the interview that day, I first shared my own story, minister Zheng in front of the video camera, wearing a white plain suit, very sincerely, listened to me:

"The first time I watched 'The Little Prince' was because I lost love at the age of 25."

At that time, the emotional frustration made me dazed, looking back at the past twenty years of life, as if it had become a strange place, not knowing who I was.

In the bookstore, I met the "Little Prince" with green book cover, small, quietly, but emitting a warm light.

I took it home, read it alone in a lonely night, flew to the planet B612, and found there a little prince who was just like me, lonely, confused, and did not want to bring any harm to the world, innocent and gentle.

"He brought me a lot of comfort, as if he had found some strength, and tomorrow I can continue to walk, I am still me." 」

She listened to me quietly with a "I understand" expression all the way.

I was like a pilot meeting the little prince, with a heavy heart, being gently picked up. The little prince really existed and never left.