Thursday, July 23, 2009


I finished reading Walden this past week and most of the book was ok. It talked mainly about the importance and the rejuvenating power of nature, as well as the everyday beauty that can be found therein. Thoreau built his own cabin and did some of his own farming, discussing the importance of simplicity and growing your own food. I found it interesting that these arguments he had made years ago are now being resurrected and advocated once again. He talked about the movement of the ice on the pond breaking up, as well as a fox running around and making friends. I thought that most of the book was ok, but the conclusion was OUTSTANDING. There were so many profound quotes in that part- here are a few that I particularly liked.

"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 had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in the common hours"- Henry David Thoreau
What I particularly like about this quote is that success can come when it is least expected but only as a result of the confidently pursuing your dreams.

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. No put the foundation under them" - Henry David Thoreau
This quote relates to the previous one in that we need to put effort to help make our dreams become reality.

"Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made . . . If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let her step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away" - Henry David Thoreau
I don't know if this is the orgin of the moving to the beat of a different drummer phrase, but it seems to directly relate. We each need to follow our own music and do our own thing and not be a mindless follower.

I'm glad that I read this book as it is definitely one of the classics and brings a perspective about nature that has influenced so many facets of our society.

1 comment:

The Richardsons said...

I haven't read Walden, but this quote from it has long been one of my favorites:
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do...Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. (Thoreau, Walden, 90)