A lady once offered me a mat, but as I had no room to spare within the house, nor time to spare within or without to shake it, I declined it, preferring to wipe my feet on the sod before my door. It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.—Walden
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.—Walden
A man may use as simple a diet as the animals, and yet retain health and strength.—Walden
Again and again I congratulate myself on my so-called poverty. I was almost disappointed yesterday to find thirty dollars in my desk which I did not know that I possessed, though now I should be sorry to lose it.—Journal, 8 February 1857
All true greatness runs as level a course, and is as unaspiring, as the plow in the furrow. It wears the homeliest dress and speaks the homeliest language.—Journal, 29 December 1841
As for the complex ways of living, I love them not, however much I practice them. In as many places as possible, I will get my feet down to the earth.—Journal, 22 October 1853
Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.—Walden
I am soothed by the rain-drops on the door-sill; every globule that pitches thus confidently from the eaves to the ground is my life insurance.—Journal, 14 November 1839
I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.—Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 27 March 1848
I look out at my eyes, I come to my window, and feel and breathe the fresh air. It is a fact equally glorious with the most inward experience.—Journal, 23 August 1852
All quotation categories