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Henry David Thoreau

The question is not what you look at, but what you see

 

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth

 

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live


Public opinion is a weak tyrant, compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines, or rather indicates, his fate

 

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours

 

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms



Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher best known for his transcendentalist writings. Born in 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts, Thoreau was deeply influenced by the natural surroundings of his upbringing and developed a keen interest in philosophy, literature, and social reform.


One of Thoreau's most famous works, "Walden," is a reflection on simple living in natural surroundings. In it, he documents his experiences living in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, where he sought to live deliberately and self-sufficiently. Thoreau's time at Walden Pond became a symbol of his commitment to individualism, simplicity, and a deep connection with nature.


Thoreau was also a staunch advocate for civil disobedience and nonviolent protest. His essay "Civil Disobedience" argues that individuals have a moral responsibility to resist unjust laws and government actions through nonviolent means. Thoreau's ideas on civil disobedience had a profound impact on later activists, including Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.


Throughout his life, Thoreau was a passionate critic of materialism, consumerism, and the encroachment of technology on human freedom. He believed in the importance of self-reliance, solitude, and communion with nature as essential components of a meaningful life. Thoreau's writings continue to inspire readers with their call to live deliberately, question authority, and embrace the simplicity and beauty of the natural world. At the age of 44, Henry David Thoreau passed away in 1862. Though his life may have been short by contemporary measures, the fruits he sow continue to grow.

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