Thoreau and Me

Just yesterday I found myself in the middle of a decision. I wasn’t sure what to do, and so I did what I always do to help me think. It wasn’t until just recently that I learned my approach is influenced heavily from the Romantic era. I went outside. Sometimes I go for a hike, sometimes I grab my bike and go ride out in the world. There’s something about it that helps to clear the mind, it helps you gain perspective, and for me it helps me know what to choose.

I think I can reasonably say that I live, or at least try to live a life less complicated. I do not have a thousand and one things to do every day. In fact most days I can, as Henry David Thoreau says, use merely my ten fingers to count. I don’t even have to remove my shoes for need to count higher than that. Yet, although I have a fairly simple life, I fear it doesn’t offer much time spent in nature, or reflecting on life. For the most part it is a work without any consequence. School in the morning, work in the afternoon, a few moments with family, and off to bed. I feel that Thoreau hit the nail right on the head with his fear to die only to realize he never really lived. I could argue that right now is not the time for me to truly live. Perhaps now is the season of jumping through hoops and fulfilling others requirements and expectations until I reach a point where I can truly begin to live. But that is not true, at least not completely. The major center of my life’s activities is school. As a student my priorities are to perform well in classes in hopes of graduating and obtaining meaningful employment. I do think at times that it is a bit ridiculous doing all the work for that simple piece of paper we call a diploma. The diploma not the ultimate end to my efforts.It may put our passions or immediate desires on hold for a time, but it is also an opportunity to expand the mind and become more aware of ourselves and the world in which we live. So, I propose that furthering one’s education is a work of true value.

Most of my week is taken up by those mundane tasks that just have to be done. The tasks that cause my life to be “frittered away by detail.” Luckily, I get to spend my weekends more simply, and more meaningfully. I build my relationships with my family members, and spend time admiring nature. It helps me to grow both physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I think on the whole, my life is quite a romantic one, and will continue to become more so as my priorities change.


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