Thoreau was of course, one of the Founding Fathers of simplifying.
One of his more often cited quotes was “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
In the interest of accuracy, let me note that this quote is often cited incorrectly as the actual is more involved but the idea is generally unchanged.
Now, I will confess, I am often clueless in interpreting literature, but sometimes, I guess the message is so clear, even “I” get it. And it impressed me enough that I did some web research and gave it some thought.
The word desperation was carefully chosen by Thoreau to emphasize the depth of the emotion. Even back then, he felt the American lifestyle and resultant materialism would lead to dissatisfaction. He knew many were taking the easy way of conformity, working hard and being comfortable.
While comfortable, people realized that weren’t happy. They were sacrificing their dreams.
Thoreau was essentially sharing what he sees as the major problem of his time: how work and the acquisition of material goods can consume your life.
Gee, some things never change, do they?
If you are curious to explore this line of thought further, try this link.
|Picture is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.|
|Attribution: RhythmicQuietude aten.wikipedia|