Simplify, simplify

Not only do I love Auden but I also love Thoreau. Walden has to be one of the most enlightened pieces of its time. It’s hard to believe that it was written so long ago, an entirely different age. Keep in mind this was before electricity, telephones, computers, space flight, the Internet, shopping malls, and cars. It was before the World Wars (hell, it was before the AMERICAN civil war!) and it was before any time of instant information. How easy is this for us to achieve today, compared to the man of 1854? Amazing… From Chapter 2 of Walden…

“Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.”


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