A few quotations from Henry David Thoreau, born today in 1817:
Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.
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.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
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.
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.
I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
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 which he hears, however measured or far away.