05 March 2011

a healthy dose of thoreau

This can now officially be called a senior blog in that I have now blogged over 65 times! Which, bloggoforically speaking, means I am in retirement. Oh the irony.
I will dedicate this post to one of my fellow Transcendentalists, Henry David Thoreau. Enjoy.
My first post of the year was about a calender that I made and how wonderful the lady at Staples was. So I was looking at my calendar today, and I was reading a Thoreau quote. I have 12 quotes from him in each page. To boost morale and such.
So the quotes were intended to give me something to ponder each month. But I never did. So I will now.
January: "A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone."
This quote needed some rereading. I never got it the first time. Or the second. not sure if I even got it. But when reading Walden, one of his main ideas is that you become more enslaved to your things if you acquire more. Like a house, a family, etc. So I am guessing that it means you are a more valuable person if you can learn to live without certain things. Which I think is true. Some of the most compassionate people came from nothing. They are worth more because their character is all they have.
February: "As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude with not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
This is a great one. Not to put on a motivational quote app, but good for pondering. There are so many facets to it, like a stone. It is so true. Imagine if we all did what Thoreau did, and we went out into the forest and cut all ties with society. There would be no laws of the universe other than gravity and the supernatural. There would be no solitude because you would be alone (that sounds paradoxical, perhaps even just stupid, but really if there is no one else, there can be no such thing as anti-solitude. So solitude becomes normality and there is no other option). Poverty would not exist because everyone would be equal and we would not have to fight with each other. And weakness would not exist because then we would have to be competing with others, and others do not exist in the solitary world. It sounds like a great world.
March: "Be true to your work, your word, and your friend."
Not necessarily in that order. I like this one because it's short and easy to remember. Be true to your work. This is always nice, but sometimes it is hard to do, because we will often try to get ahead and compromise work with our morals and cheat and do other bad things. Be true to your word. I live this one. I actually meant to write I love this one, but I said live instead. And I think I actually do live it for the most part. being honest is really the easiest way to live life in an untangled way. And if you are pressured to lie about something, change what you are doing. Be true to your friend. So true. Your friends are in a weird way something of yourself. Part of you is in each of your friends. And so if you are not true to them, you are hurting not only them, but yourself. I like that if you think about it, these three components all fit together.
I hope Thoreau will help you through your day. I know he always does. Always there with a great word to make you say "wow". Remember: a Thoreau quote a day keeps sadness at bay.

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