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04, 2005

ah, simple simplicity!

Thoreau, Walden (1854; selections) -- American Literature, 1800-1915 (EL 266)

"We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep."
-Thoreau's "Walden" Chapter 2, Section 15


this specific passage really enlightened me, because, truth be told, i think like this all the time. i truly do think that most people need to model themselves after this quote.

i'm not saying that everyone needs to run off to the woods and live in solitude for 2 years, but i am saying that people need to stop relying so much on technology and mechancical things and rely more on themselves.

hypothetically speaking: something horrible happens, i.e. y2k, and no one has anything left. all files are gone, and everyone's skill training is in computers and mechanical things. what happen when all is gone? it really is something to think about.

i think thoreau had the right idea. he lived in simplicity....oh how i envy him. i wish i could live in simplicity....me, my dog, and some sheep with beautiful and warm wool...i'd be a happy camper.

Posted by LaurenEtling at 4, 2005 12:14

Comments

That is an interesting way of thinking about it. I think that it is the truth though. If some horrible instance caused all of our technology to shut down, our society would completely fall apart. It is hard to say that as a society we really cannot do much for ourselves, but it is the truth.

Posted by: Stacy at 4, 2005 01:47

Ah Lauren, I really like your blog on this! I totally agree with Thoreau being a man of envy for having the oppurtunity to live in simplicity. I think our heads get clouded so often with the distractions and/or technology of the everyday life. This passage did touch me, too, because I think its a good model/message for all people to follow. Its like saying "stop and smell the roses" for a change!

Posted by: Ashley Holtzer at 4, 2005 01:59

Alright Lauren, this is the part where I praise you while taking one of your quotes and focus on it. Here it goes.

"i'm not saying that everyone needs to run off to the woods and live in solitude for 2 years, but i am saying that people need to stop relying so much on technology and mechancical things and rely more on themselves."

As much as Thoreau focused on the idea of issues in society, his views on mechanical work reflecting society, and how seclusion makes a difference in grasping bigger concepts to life, he also hits another major point.

I didn't see it until now. Depending on yourself and your capabilities brings out much better results. Thoreau leads by example, as well as explaining that concept, and you have hit it just as well as he would have wanted (if he was not dead and rotting). :P.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at 4, 2005 03:21

I'd love to say that I would like to rid myself to today's mechanical ties and live simply with few material items. And, some days, I probably would. However, I don't think I could do it. I really don't. I am born in this time- I was raised to be connected to people at the drop of a hat, live complicated, and be driven by stress.

Ok, this might we the strangest analogy for Thoreau but it's really what I thought as we talk about simplicity and living an uncomplicated life- the Amish. They don't have cell phones, they aren't rushing around, trying to fit everything in. They are living, for this time, one of the most uncomplicated and simplified lives you can have (other than living in a forest I suppose...). Not that I'm saying we should model our lives after them or that they've modeled theirs from Thoreau but it's nice to see that people are still trying to live simply.

Posted by: Vanessa at 4, 2005 06:36

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