Henry David Thoreau

18 Jan

henry-david-thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, sage writer and philosopher. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism.

He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist as well as an inspiration to anarchists. Though Civil Disobedience calls for improving rather than abolishing government – “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” – the direction of this improvement aims at anarchism: “‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”

Other Henry David Thoreau Quotes:

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.”

“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

“After the first blush of sin comes its indifference.”

“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.”

“All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.”

“Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends… Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.”

“Every people have gods to suit their circumstances.

“God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us.

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”

For more Henry David Thoreau quotes click here!

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