Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Ode" to Thoreau (not intended for singing)

I have grown to have great respect and admiration for Abraham Lincoln, and Henry David Thoreau. For as long as I can remember Lincoln has always stuck in my head, he's such a strong person and had so many personal experiences in his life that he learned from and in turn helped make our country a little better. Thoreau is very self explanatory, but to be honest I dont know quite as much about him as I do Lincoln. Gandhi a great man himself said this on the essay Henry wrote; Civil Disobedience. 
"Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practice in himself. He was one of the greatest and most moral men America has produced. At the time of the abolition of slavery movement, he wrote his famous essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience". He went to gaol for the sake of his principles and suffering humanity. His essay has, therefore, been sanctified by suffering. Moreover, it is written for all time. Its incisive logic is unanswerable."
—"For Passive Resisters" (1907)[17]
1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring Thoreau
(I wonder what it'd cost to get my hands on one of these)

I think that everyone knows or at least has heard one of Henry David Thoreau's quotes or poems in their life time. A simple quote of his I enjoy is "Dreams are the touchstones of our character". Simple, yet so much meaning behind it. Here's one I have been pondering for most of the day.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the sound of a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured of far away."

I've noticed that I am trying to dissect it and figure out all of its meaning. I'd like to know what your take on this is. I dont care if its surface stuff or indepth. I'm just curious how others view it, since we all have ou own opinions. I would share with you my thoughts on it, but I cant quite grasp my head around it. Believe me I tried writing out my thoughts and feelings on it just to have another thought enter into my mind. I finally came to the conclusion that it was just a web of nonsense (reading it as an ousider I would think). So just let me know, I hope its as perplexing to you as I find it, yet wonderfully amazing.


sorry I didnt have time to proof read it!


  1. I think Thoreau was just saying that if somebody is different from you, it doesn't mean they are wrong; it just means that they do things differently, and you shouldn't try to get them to be the same as you.
    In other words, let people be who they are!
    Great post, Berlin.

  2. The path of another man mattereth not in comparison to your own. If one person walks at a different pace than that of your own, do not compare the two. We never know what is going on in the mind of another person, and thus, we cannot judge their actions.

    My personal impressions were love yourself, don't get caught up in the game of comparisons, and allow yourself to be whoever you are. I love you, Berlin.

  3. I'd love to see your web of thoughts. They are definitely not nonsense. In fact, it's in those times when my mind is jumping from thought to thought that I find the greatest personal epiphanies. (the following shows what a nerd I am.. but you'll love me anyway, right?)I keep a small notebook and scribble down each thought,trying to get the main points, however random they may be. And then you can go back and fill in each thought, add to each one the things you didn't have time to write down. You can blog about it or put it in your journal. You learn a lot about yourself. So never stop yourself! I think those thoughts are important to have. You should do it, B. I think you'd find you have some very deep, insightful intuitions and thoughts, you have a way of looking at things unlike anyone I've ever met. Very interesting.
    I'm glad you're getting into Throeau and philosophy/other philosophers. I love to take something artistic and find my own interpretations as well as those of others. As for this quote, I thought along the same lines as Summer :) You are beautiful and great, as is everyone. It is our differences that define us and shape us into who we are. You are beautiful because you're YOU, not someone else :)