Monday, November 28, 2011

Great Quotes: Henry David Thoreau

This is the first post in the 'Great Author Series' in which perceptive quotes are selected from pivotal authors through the ages. Hopefully the select quotes are engaging and inspirational, and offer enriching insights.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) wrote over 20 volumes of books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry. He is most noted for his reflections upon simple living in natural surroundings. Many of his quotes still resonate for their passionate desire to understand the essential elements of a vital life without being overwhelmed by the complexities of modernity and tradition.

- Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

- What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

- Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.

- As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

- Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

- 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.

- I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

- The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

(Pivotal quotes selected by quoteflections.)

- I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right. Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

- Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.

- If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.

- I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.

- In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

- We are constantly invited to be who we are.

- What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?

Labels: quotes, quotations, greatest, best, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help

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