Henry David Thoreau Love Quotes and Sayings

1. There is no remedy for love but to love more.

2. May we so love as never to have occasion to repent of our love!

3. Those whom we can love, we can hate; to others we are indifferent.

4. Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

5. Kindness to children, love for children, goodness to children – these are the only investments that never fail.

6. Love is an attempt to change a piece of a dream-world into a reality.

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Excerpt from Wikipedia: Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore; while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and “Yankee” love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time imploring one to abandon waste and illusion in order to discover life’s true essential needs.

He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist. Though Civil Disobedience seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government – “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” – the direction of this improvement aims at anarchism: “‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.” Richard Drinnon partly blames Thoreau for the ambiguity, noting that Thoreau’s “sly satire, his liking for wide margins for his writing, and his fondness for paradox provided ammunition for widely divergent interpretations of ‘Civil Disobedience.’” He further points out that although Thoreau writes that he only wants “at once” a better government, that does not rule out the possibility that a little later he might favor no government.

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Sayings by Henry David Thoreau

1. A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.

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

3. All men are children, and of one family. The same tale sends them all to bed, and wakes them in the morning.

4. An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

5. As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

6. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

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

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

9. Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

10. Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

11. Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.

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

13. I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.

14. If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.

15. 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.

16. In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

17. It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

18. It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.

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

20. Live the life you’ve dreamed.

21. Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.

22. The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.

23. Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.

24. What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

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

26. Things do not change; we change.

27. It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

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

29. One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.

30. It’s not worth our while to let our imperfections disturb us always.

31. I can alter my life by altering my attitude. He who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.

32. You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

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

34. Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.

35. Don’t get to the end of your life and realize you have never lived.

36. Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?
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