Saint-Exupéry has a knack for razor-sharp insights into the nature of big things: peace, war, civilization. Here he seems somewhat ahead of his time in embracing difference as an enrichment rather than an impoverishment.
In my civilization, he who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me.
Unclear whether ‘my civilization’ refers to the civilization to which Saint-Exupéry belonged, or if he is evoking his idea of what a civilization should be. Either way, his comment feels far ahead of its time, and even ours.
Source: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, trans. by Lewis Galantière (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961), p. 152
Photo credit: Ryoji Iwata at unsplash