Walden

So, I’m reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau right now.  What a cool book. Here’s one of the quotes from the book that really resonated with me this morning:

“The student who secures his coveted leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure, defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure fruitful.

“Translation to MikeSpeak: “work is what makes playtime fun.”

I’ll share more on my thoughts as I keep reading the book, but I quite liked this one.

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5 Responses

  1. So I read Walden in college, because I had to. I remember thinking it was “alright,” but I never would have picked it up for my own recreational reading. I needs me some ‘splainin when reading transcendental lit.

    I went to Walden Pond shortly after graduation. I remember being tempted to read Walden again after that trip, but the temptation passed. I’ll look forward to your additional insights. Who knows, maybe you’ll inspire me to give it another go. 🙂 Stranger things have happened.

  2. Now I suppose I shall have to read it too – I never have and you made it sound like a good ‘un. Keep posting translations to MikeSpeak.

  3. Thoreau ROCKS! Just like Ben Folds rocks. I guess if you can’t understand one you won’t understand the other (that’s for Miss “Yawn” . . . you know who you are.) My favorite Thoreau work is “Civil Disobedience” with my favorite quote being:

    “But, to speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.”

    Strong work Mr. Hurren.

  4. Thanks Jeff, for some reason I’ve never actually read Civil Disobedience, even though I know a bit about what’s in it, and am all for it (can I be all for something I haven’t read? Sure, that’s what America is all about, baby! Who’s actually read the Constitution?)

    So I went and looked up Civil Disobedience and found the entire text (it’s not long) online at Wikipedia. I bookmarked it and plan to not remove it from the coveted real estate of my bookmarks bar until I’ve read it in its entirety. I promise.

  5. Mike,

    I have to agree with Jeff, Civil Disobedience is great. I fall asleep with the rest of Thoreau’s stuff.

    I’ll have you know that some people actually *do* read the Constitution (and I am one of them). It is too bad more people don’t read it, they then might have an idea of what is going on. Maybe we can talk Jeff into reading the entire thing on video and posting it on YouTube so people can just listen to it… 🙂

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