Henry David Thoreau
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"Henry David Thoreau" was an American author, poet, philosopher, Abolitionism in the United States/abolitionist, Natural history/naturalist, tax resistance/tax resister, development criticism/development critic, surveying/surveyor, and historian. A leading Transcendentalism/transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Resistance to Civil Government (also known as Civil Disobedience), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy.

All good things are wild, and free.

Most people dread finding out when they come to die that they have never really lived.

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.

Men are born to succeed, not fail.

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

It is as hard to see one's self as to look backwards without turning around.

The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.

Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.

It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate.

The universe is wider than our views of it.

What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

In the long run, you hit only what you aim at: Therefore aim high.

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.

In solitude especialy do we begin to appreciate the advantage of living with someone who can think.

It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

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

Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.

There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

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.

It is pleasant to have been to a place the way a river went.

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.

One may discover a new side to his most intimate friend when for the first time he hears him speak in public. He will be stranger to him as he is more familiar to the audience. The longest intimacy could not foretell how he would behave then.

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are the richest.

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.

There is more religion in men's science, than there is science in their religion.

It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? 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.

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.

As if there were safety in stupidity alone.

Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize the infinite extent of our relations.

A man cannot be said to succeed in this life who does not satisfy one friend.

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is in prison.

How sweet it would be to treat men and things, for an hour, for just what they are!

To believe your own thought: To believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius.

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.

Let everyone mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made.

Men have become the tools of their tools.

[Water is] the only drink for a wise man.

It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.

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

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.

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

Most are engaged in business the greater part of their lives, because the soul abhors a vacuum and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man's nobler faculties.

We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy.

The way by which you may get money almost without exception leads downward.

To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, not even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.

Good poetry seems too simple and natural a thing that when we meet it we wonder that all men are not always poets. Poetry is nothing but healthy speech.

To regret deeply is to live afresh.

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

If the day and the night are such that you greet them with with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, more elastic, more starry, more immortal--that is your success.

I have lived some thirty years on this planet and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.

Voting for the right is doing nothing for it.

I derive no pleasure from talking with a young woman simply because she has regular features.

What men call good fellowship is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter which lie close together to keep each other warm.

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well.

I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.

Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

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.

Things do not change; we change.

Be not simply good - be good for something.

In dreams we see ourselves naked and acting our real characters, even more clearly than we see others awake.

Heroes are often the most ordinary of men.

My friend is one... who take me for what I am.

I stand in awe of my body.

Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

Do what nobody else can do for you. Omit to do anything else.

I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, cattle, barns, and farming tools, for these are more easily acquired than gotten rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labour in.

I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake his neighbours up.

The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right.

In the long run you only hit what you aim at. Therefore, though you should fail immediately, you had better aim at something high.

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul's estate.

Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.

Ignorance and bungling with love are better than wisdom and skill without.

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.

You can not percieve beauty but with a serene mind.

The light that puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake.

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

Man is the artificer of his own happiness.

What people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can.

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.

In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions: know that you are alone in the world.

It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

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

As for the pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs.

We must have infinite faith in each other. If we have not, we must never let it leak out that we have not.

We are armed with language adequate to describe each leaf of the filed, but not to describe human character.

However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do want society.

It takes two to speak the truth--one to speak and the other to hear.

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink, I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish fill the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.

I'd rather sit alone on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Many go fishing without knowing it is fish they are after.

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.

Petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of reality.

The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.

Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it but as I drink, I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.

Say what you have to say, not what you ought. any truth is better than make-Believe!

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.

I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.

Cultivate the habit of early rising. It is unwise to keep the head long on a level with the feet.

Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

Our inventions are won't to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.

Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep.

But government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice, even as far as men understand it.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

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

If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Do not lose hold of your dreams or asprirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.

Must be out-of-doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality, as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life.

A simple and independent mind does not toil at the bidding of any prince.

Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.

We falsely attribute to men a determined character - putting together all their yesterdays - and averaging them - we presume we know them. Pity the man who has character to support - it is worse than a large family - he is the silent poor indeed.

Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.