Wealth & Poverty Quotations


In my experience I have found nothing so truly impoverishing as what is called wealth, i.e. the command of greater means than you had before possessed, though comparatively few and slight still, for you thus inevitably acquire a more expensive habit of living, and even the very same necessaries and comforts cost you more than they once did. Instead of gaining, you have lost some independence, and if your income should be suddenly lessened, you would find yourself poor, though possessed of the same means which once made you rich.—Journal, 20 January 1856
It is glorious to consider how independent man is of all enervating luxuries; and the poorer he is in respect to them, the richer he is.—Journal, 22 November 1860
It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all. I find it invariably true, the poorer I am, the richer I am. What you consider my disadvantage, I consider my advantage.—Journal, 5 December 1856
Just in proportion to the outward poverty is the inward wealth.—Journal, 13 November 1851
Let me see no other conflict but with prosperity.—Journal, 12 May 1850
Love your life, poor as it is.—Walden
Many a forenoon have I stolen away, preferring to spend thus the most valued part of the day; for I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly; nor do I regret that I did not waste more of them in the workshop or the teacher’s desk.—Walden
Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be still-born, rather.—”Life without Principle
Nature would not appear so rich, the profusion so rich, if we knew a use for everything.—Journal, 11 August 1853
O how I laugh when I think of my vague, indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it—for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.—Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 6 December 1856
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