In the course of this life I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence. I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn't much improved my opinion of them.

The narrator is an adult who has traveled to many different places in the world and has met a lot of other adults. When he says that they are “concerned with matters of consequence”, there is a sardonic undertone that implies the narrator does not believe that what these adults are concerned with are important matters at all. He is disappointed by most grown-ups and has a low opinion of them. The narrator tries his best to live a life contrary to most adults, since he has seen firsthand how boring and unfulfilling their lives are.

"I wonder," he said, "whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again . . . Look at my planet. It is right there above us. But how far away it is!"

When the little prince sets out on his travels, he is eager to learn more about the universe. However, the longer he is gone, he not only begins to miss his home, but he also learns to appreciate it in new ways. That bright stars exist to help guide an explorer home is a comforting thought to the little prince, and suggests that the universe has created these stars with the knowledge that every traveler will one day want and need to return home.

"That man," said the Little Prince to himself, as he continued farther on his journey, "that man would be scorned by all the others: by the king, by the conceited man, by the tippler, by the businessman. Nevertheless, he is the only one of them all who does not seem to me ridiculous. Perhaps that is because he is thinking of something else besides himself."

In meeting many different people throughout his journey, the little prince begins to gain perspective on what types of people he most connects to and respects. He has observed ridiculous, narrow-minded, and self-sabotaging behavior from the men on the other planets, and while he pities them, he does not respect them. The lamplighter, however, in his eternal quest to fulfill his duty, shows the little prince that unselfish acts and people who have a sense of responsibility to the world deserve recognition and regard.

The fact is that I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. But I was too young to know how to love her.

When the little prince leaves his planet, he struggles with his relationship with his rose. As he travels, he gains perspective and learns more about why people act in difficult or hurtful ways. He realizes that, while his rose sometimes speaks carelessly, she has shown her love for him in other ways. When he returns to his planet, the experience he’s gained while traveling will allow him to see beyond her flaws and love her better.

"The men where you live," said the Little Prince, "raise five thousand roses in the same garden-- and they do not find in it what they are looking for."

During his travels to Earth, the little prince observes humans in their daily lives, as they search for meaning in their existences. The little prince believes that this search is often in vain because humans focus on the wrong things. Whereas the little prince has learned the importance of his one rose, and how having a bond with a single individual makes everyone else pale in comparison, most humans believe that the more roses they grow, the happier they will be. This is not the case: when quantity is the focus of their efforts, they will never find the quality they are searching for.