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Thoreau and his book Walden has been inspirational in my life Thoreau was stimulated by the natural things he found in life he shunned the artificial The manufactured collections that most of us work on through our lives are bogus -- and costly we sweat we labour we toil we worry and we rarely ask ourselves to what purpose Happily for Thoreau and for all of us a ticket to nature is free For Thoreau the answer was to live happily and simply For Thoreau this could not only be done inexpensively but only could be done indeed if one lived simply with few possessions The Greek dramatists had a name for living happily and simply hybris insolent prosperity Henry David Thoreau 1817-62 was born at Concord Massachusetts He was educated at Harvard and started out as a teacher In 1845 he built a cabin at Walden Pond and there lived through the seasons at least for two years He wrote of his thoughts that he had at Walden Pond and the result was his book Walden 1854 At one point while at Walden Pond he refused to pay his poll tax for this act of civil disobedience he spent a night in jail Like his neighbour Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-82 Thoreau was a transcendentalist one who believes in the divine sufficiency of the individual To quote Thoreau 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 Thoreau was out to test his theory that a man might become rich by making
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