Best Inspirational Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Henry David Thoreau was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher (July 12, 1817 to May 6, 1862).

He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings and his essay “Civil Disobedience”.

His essay “Civil Disobedience”, caught the attention of people and influenced the political thoughts and actions of notable figures such as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy. His work has influenced the American Civil Rights Movement and inspired many leaders.

His literary style includes observation of nature, personal experience, rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore. In his writings he displayed philosophical austerity and attention to practical detail.

I have collected for you here, some of the most insightful and inspiring of Henry David Thoreau Quotes. There are quotes on nature, the world, behavior, philosophy, and on many other topics.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

“To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.”

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

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

“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.”

“So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.”

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

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“The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.”

“We are born as innocents. We are polluted by advice.”

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

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”

“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.”

“Never look back – unless you’re planning to go that way.”

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

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

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

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

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

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

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

“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn you attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”

“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.”

“If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

“I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.”

“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.”

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

“Dreams are the touchstones of our character.”

“I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.”

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”

“It is never too late to give up our prejudices.”

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”

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

“Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.”

“My greatest skill in life has been to want but little.”

“Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”

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

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

“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.”

“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”

“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”

The Wisdom in Henry David Thoreau Quotes

You can great wisdom and insight by reading Henry David Thoreau Quotes. Here area few examples:

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
This quote speaks about living in the present moment. When you are in the present moment you become more aware of life and of the things around you. You become more attentive and experience the moment, This leads to calmness, happiness and enjoying life.

“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”
When you live what you believe and act according to your beliefs, you influence the world around you.

“Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”
Live your life and act in the best way for you and for others, not according to what you feel and believe others are expecting of you. It is your own life, not somebody else’s life. Be free and do not let others pull your strings.

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
In these words Henry David Thoreau speaks about the importance of pay attention to people, being considerate and trying to understand them. This can bring people together and bring more love to Earth. Isn’t it a miracle?

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