Thoreau for Mankind

Three passages from Henry David Thoreau from “Thoreau On Man & Nature” on which contemplation, pensive contemplation, may be one of the most valuable gifts of peacefulness we present to our self, and therefore others. Enjoy.

“Surely joy is the condition of life. Think of the young fry that leap in ponds, the myriads of insects ushered into being on a summer evening, the incessant note of the hyla with which the woods ring in the spring, the nonchalance of the butterfly carrying accident and change painted in a thousand hues upon its wings, or the brook minnow stoutly stemming the current, the lustre of whose scales worn bright by the attrition is reflected upon the bank.”

“A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man’s life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the railroad cars. What are three score years and ten hurriedly and coarsely lived, to moments of divine leisure in which your life is coincident with the life of the universe? We live too fast and coarsely, just as we eat too fast and do not know the true savor of our food.”

“All that man can say or do that can possibly concern mankind is, in some shape or other, to tell the story of his love, to sing, and if he is fortunate and keeps alive he will be forever in love. This alone is to be alive to the extremities. It is such a pity that this divine creature should ever suffer from cold feet. A still greater pity that the coldness so often reaches to his heart.”  

More about Henry David Thoreau HERE

Related Links:
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33 thoughts on “Thoreau for Mankind

  1. If you like Thoreau you can see some of his modern day influences and calls to action with Voluntary Simplicity and SImplicity Institute – great resources and actions to live more with less… I also try to portray this in a lot of my own blogs as well – Other good options are the Make Wealth History blog and the Post Growth Society.

    Happy living!


  2. Pingback: Robert Lanza, M.D.: Why Do We Exist? Experiments Hold the Answer « Στα ίχνη της Γνώσης … Tracing Knowledge

  3. three great quotes, esp liked (probably because i needed to hear it 😉 ) – “A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man’s life as in a book”

    and thanks for the related links, those can sometimes be very helpful and handy 😉


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