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October 05, 2005

Walden Agenda and Essay 1

Agenda Item:"The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly."
I find this quote to be true because people tend to do better when they are praised and motivational speakers like norman peale have even written books on postive thinking that relate to following the golden rule.He talks all about Jesus' preachings on preserving your soul then takes a very negative turn and says:
" It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by experience; always on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latins aes alienum, another's brass, for some of their coins were made of brass; still living, and dying, and buried by this other's brass; always promising to pay, promising to pay" as though no one has morals and we all simply thrive off of others like vultures. Is this simply to explain to us why he's fleeing to Walden's pond? Will he get use the skills of getting the 4 necessities that he already has and gain spiritual growth as he intends?

Thoreau: A cynical bastard, or is he on to something? “Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant? We should live in all the ages of the world in an hour; ay, in all the worlds of the ages.”
Thoreau seems to be trying to tell us that if we stay imprisoned within our own minds, it is impossible to get a full picture of all opportunities, opinions, and pleasures that the world has to offer. If no one ever communicated through written word or even if cavemen hadn’t drawn on their walls, we wouldn’t have documented history. If we didn’t have history, teachers wouldn’t have jobs and the world would seem very narrow.
Besides written word, speaking is also vital. If people couldn’t even make guttural cries, many of our population would’ve died when the dinosaurs came. What I find most fascinating about Walden is that Thoreau wants us to “get off of our high horse” and take a look at the world through someone else’s eyes. This is an old cliché and many still feel its important. If we lived in all the ages, he explains, we would have a better understanding of mythology (thanks, Greece), philosophy (thanks again Greece), and how to really survive on our own. With the Internet, Sheetz, and Wal-Mart we are the fattest, most spoiled, and not to mention a dense, (c’mon we have a President who waved at the blind Stevie Wonder) country in the world. I’m greatful for this, but Thoreau has a point, if we all went back in time or at least got to spend time without our luxuries, we would learn to be self-sufficient in getting Thoreau’s version of our 4 basic needs and become more kind-hearted. I hope Thoreau’s own quest for spiritual growth works because he is one “cynical bastard(which is one of my favorite Jerz’s dirty words although he wasn’t talking about Thoreau at the time).” It’s still only the beginning, the woods will make him a tree-hugger perhaps, or at least a little more relaxed.

Posted by ErinWaite at October 5, 2005 03:20 AM


Yes amazing that we are the fattest, most spoiled, and dense country in the world and we are still looking for more. Nothing satisfies us and our need to have more "stuff" grows on. America what has happened?

Posted by: michelle koss at October 5, 2005 04:20 AM

yeah, this is definitely true. he even says something like "we are starving before we are even hungry." I think although he explores how i guess you would sa greedy we are he doesn't necessarily exclude himself, maybe he once had fallen too.

Posted by: Meredith Benson at October 5, 2005 10:02 PM

after listening 2 u in class meredith, u def know ur stuff. he includes himself and i think thats the whole reason he's getting back to nature. michelle, do u think if we lived in the woods 4 awhile we might appreciate more? what was ur take on his writing?

Posted by: erin at October 6, 2005 09:30 PM

hey Erin just saw your question now while doing my portfolio 2. Yes i think if we went back to the simple ways of life that we would definatly appreciate "things" more and I honestly believe we would be happier people as a whole. I loved his writings and I one day wish to live like he did.

Posted by: michelle koss at November 14, 2005 03:02 PM

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