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The Book “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” by Henry David Thoreau

Most people believe they should organize their lives and make decisions. They continue choosing colleges, enhancing skills, and earning a living. In his “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” Henry David Thoreau breaks all rules and proves it may be enough to live a simple life and be happy. I need to believe there is a moment when I can stop thinking about finances, fashion, or expectations and start living my own life. I want to agree with Thoreau and take his simplicity, hurry, and delusion rules to fulfill my life with a positive meaning and become a good example for my son.

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One of the most interesting and powerful ideas in the chosen reading is Thoreau’s call for simplicity. I have always thought that human life is full of unnecessary activities that bewilder people and make them do something unwanted or even pointless. Thoreau states that “our life is frittered away by detail” in this “chopping sea of civilized life” (1318). It is hard to add more to this statement, but take it as it is and simplify everything. However, simplicity should not be confused with laziness, lack of creativity, or the absence of choices. It is the right of every individual to understand this concept most suitably and rely on personal experiences, wishes, and resources. If there is a chance or desire to eat one meal “instead of three meals a day” or “reduce other things in proportion,” it is normal to follow this need without thinking about consequences (Thoreau 1318). I have a friend who buys new dresses regularly to show her colleagues that she can do it. Once, she told me about her favorite dress in the wardrobe, but she cannot use it in public because she has already worn it. I wondered if she could use it at least once a month, and the answer was, “Everything is more complex than you think.” If people try to simplify such futile details, starting with clothes, food, or drinks, positive changes will emerge soon. Simplicity is not a mistake or weakness but a need that most of us have forgotten.

There are many mistakes that people never notice, and the most dangerous one, in my opinion, is an unreasonable rush. Figuratively speaking, society is organized so that individuals do not have a chance to stop and think about the things they want for a moment. According to Thoreau, if more attention is paid to “simplicity of life and elevation of purpose,” the conclusion that “it lives too fast” is inevitable (1318). He uses some metaphors about rails and sleepers or the Saint Vitus’ dance and mentions proverbs about time and human needs to demonstrate how meaningful or poorly organized this life can be (Thoreau 1319). Hurry sickness is not just a social challenge but a mental health problem for many modern people. From time to time, I observe such symptoms as multitasking pursuit, improper speeding, irritation, and mistakes that could be avoided if I spent more time on this work. For example, I understand that my child needs my time and attention, and I do my best to cooperate with him each time he needs it. However, I cannot stop thinking about my external obligations, which makes me hate myself because I do not devote myself to him. It is high time to listen to Thoreau and stop for a second to observe the environment, engage with my family, and visit friends. It is hard to accept, but the necessity to hurry has already distorted its essence and goal: instead of saving a life, people do nothing but waste it.

Finally, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” helps me realize why people’s obsession with realities never makes them strong but damaged. Thoreau underlines that “shams and delusions are esteemed for soundless truths, while reality is fabulous” (1320). Not all people are ready to admit that their intentions and rules are not for facilitation but power and control maintenance. They truly believe that their legislation, governments, and norms are the only truth to be accepted. It seems that Thoreau tries to kick the community and remind about initial goals, dreams, and forgotten ambitions that can be used to appreciate reality. I think that this final lesson should be closely related and followed in the order it is this narrative. A person can hardly comprehend the miserliness of social norms and delusions without accepting simplicity and time first. My transition was not smooth when I decided to simplify something and find time for things, activities, and people pleasant to me. However, as soon as I found more time for my family and interests, I was able to reject some obligations. The first decision was hard to make because of fears and doubts. I remembered Thoreau’s words that “we think that that is which appears to be” (1321). Thus, I made myself believe that fear is just an expectation of change imposed by society and turned it into my strength. I removed fake emotions and felt what I wanted to feel – confidence and independence – as the only truth in my life.

I can give several reasons for reading the offered excerpt from Thoreau’s book. If a person needs change in this life, the rules of simplicity, hurry, and delusion should be underlined. It is wrong to believe that the author provokes the reader and imposes unnecessary observations. There are many ways for personal improvement and growth, and the ideas to simplify as much as possible, never to hurry, and avoid delusional realities are good examples. Not many people are ready for Thoreau’s method, but I recommend paying attention to his work to, at least, see the options and make a choice.

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Thoreau, Henry David. Where I Lived, and What I Lived For. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "The Book “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” by Henry David Thoreau." January 22, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/the-book-where-i-lived-and-what-i-lived-for-by-henry-david-thoreau/.

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StudyCorgi. 2023. "The Book “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” by Henry David Thoreau." January 22, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/the-book-where-i-lived-and-what-i-lived-for-by-henry-david-thoreau/.

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StudyCorgi. (2023) 'The Book “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” by Henry David Thoreau'. 22 January.

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