Living Life Quotations


A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book.—Journal, 28 December 1852
A living dog is better than a dead lion. Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pigmies, and not be the biggest pigmy that he can? Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made.—Walden
A truly good book attracts very little favor to itself. It is so true that it teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down and commence living on its hint.—Journal, 19 February 1841
Ah, that l have known! How hard it is to remember what is most memorable! We remember how we itched, not how our hearts beat.—Journal, 11 June 1851
At present I am subsisting on certain wild flavors which nature wafts to me, which unaccountably sustain me, and make my apparently poor life rich.—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 20 November 1849
But let us hear a strain of music, we are at once advertised of a life which no man had told us of, which no preacher preaches. Suppose I try to describe faithfully the prospect which a strain of music exhibits to me. The field of my life becomes a boundless plain, glorious to tread, with no death nor disappointment at the end of it. All meanness and trivialness disappear. I become adequate to any deed. No particulars survive this expansion; persons do not survive it. In the light of this strain there is no thou nor I. We are actually lifted above ourselves.—Journal, 15 January 1857
Cowards suffer, heroes enjoy.—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 20 May 1860
Each reaching and aspiration is an instinct with which all nature consists and cooperates, and therefore it is not in vain. But alas! each relaxing and desperation is an instinct too. To be active, well, happy, implies rare courage. To be ready to fight in a duel or a battle implies desperation, or that you hold your life cheap.—Thoreau to H.G.O. Blake, 20 May 1860
Every important worker will report what life there is in him.—Journal, 6 May 1854
Every path but your own is the path of fate. Keep on your own track, then.—Walden
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