An Intellectual Journey through Walden
~Henry David Thoreau
Living simply is living right. In the chapter Economy of the book, Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, he expresses the truth about how important simplicity is. As Thoreau reflects on ways of life, he states that people are living life the wrong way. He believes that living simple is the way to live a truly successful life. In the beginning of "Economy," Thoreau expresses his belief on way simplicity is so important. Thoreau believes people are "digging their graves" when they start the journey of living a normal life with a job that requires a lot of hard work.
Actually, the laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day; he cannot afford to sustain the manliest relations to men; his labor would be depreciated in the market. He has no time to be anything but a machine. (Economy, Walden)
Experience is the way to learn best. In Walden, Thoreau shares insightful philosophy on why a strong education may not be the key of life. Thoreau believes that education is important, but a strong education is not one of the most important aspects to success. He believes that an education of necessities is all he needs to be successful. While writing the chapter of Economy, Thoreau pondered on the nature of education. He struggled to think about how important education was. He started to write his thoughts on education, the education that we desire, the education that we spend 20 years of ours lives trying to complete, and he realized how education was not a necessity.
To my astonishment I was informed on leaving college that I had studied navigation!—why, if I had taken one turn down the harbor I should have known more about it. Even the poor student studies and is taught only political economy, while that economy of living which is synonymous with philosophy is not even sincerely professed in our colleges. The consequence is, that while he is reading Adam Smith, Ricardo, and Say, he runs his father in debt irretrievably. (Economy, Walden)
Nature is for experiencing, not for damaging. In Walden, he expresses how building houses takes away from nature. Thoreau believes that nature is the most beautiful and important place to experience. Although he believes a house is a necessity, it takes away parts of nature. In the chapter Economy, Thoreau was contemplating his thoughts on shelter, when he came to the conclusion that although it was a necessity, a simple house that is livable in, is better than an expensive luxurious house. He believed this because building a house takes away from a more valuable nature.
It would be well, perhaps, if we were to spend more of our days and nights without any obstruction between us and the celestial bodies, if the poet did not speak so much from under a roof, or the saint dwell there so long. Birds do not sing in caves, nor do doves cherish their innocence in dovecots. (Economy, Walden)
The book, Walden, takes us on an intellectual journey about how simplifying your life is true success; how experience is the best way to learn, and how destroying nature by building is destroying beauty.
Thoreau's life teaches us how to live, how do our lives teach others how to live?