Life Advice

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Wisdom From 'Walden'

Annie Lane on

Dear Readers: I hope you enjoy some quotes below from one of my favorite poets, Henry David Thoreau. May he inspire you to live your lives to the fullest, spend time with nature, seek truth and always choose kindness and love. Follow you dreams; live deliberately, wild and free.

"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."

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

"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."

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

"Dreams are the touchstones of our characters."

 

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things."

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this."

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

"Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations."

...continued

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