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The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2018 12:00:00 AM
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The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Expand Your Knowledge
Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2018 7:15:30 AM

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Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity of thought and original expressions of The Universe were among the strong points of this philosopher. Bringing closer the reality of harmony in a confusing world would seem to have been his goals.
Expand Your Knowledge
Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2018 7:17:15 AM

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Expand Your Knowledge wrote:
Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity of thought and original expressions of The Universe were among the strong points of this philosopher. Bringing closer the reality of harmony in a confusing world would seem to have been his goals.


"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Such a true statement in the drama filled world of Thoreau's time, as well as in our own.
monamagda
Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2018 8:00:40 AM

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Context from:The Essential Henry David Thoreau (Walden; or, Life in the Woods)

CHAPTER I
ECONOMY


I sometimes wonder that we can be so frivolous, I may almost say, as to attend to the gross but somewhat foreign form of servitude called Negro Slavery, there are so many keen and subtle masters that enslave both North and South. It is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself. Talk of a divinity in man! Look at the teamster on the highway, wending to market by day or night; does any divinity stir within him? His highest duty to fodder and water his horses! What is his destiny to him compared with the shipping interests? Does not he drive for Squire Make-a-stir? How godlike, how immortal, is he? See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate. Self-emancipation even in the West Indian provinces of the fancy and imagination- what Wilberforce is there to bring that about? Think, also, of the ladies of the land weaving toilet cushions against the last day, not to betray too green an interest in their fates! As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

When we consider what, to use the words of the catechism, is the chief end of man, and what are the true necessaries and means of life, it appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left. But alert and healthy natures remember that the sun rose clear. It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new. Old people did not know enough once, perchance, to fetch fresh fuel to keep the fire a-going; new people put a little dry wood under a pot, and are whirled round the globe with the speed of birds, in a way to kill old people, as the phrase is. Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose. Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me; but it does not avail me that they have tried it. If I have any experience which I think valuable, I am sure to reflect that this my Mentors said nothing about.



Read more:http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/walden/hdt01.html
Bully_rus
Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2018 10:00:39 AM
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Daemon wrote:
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


Yeah. Does it mean that the unquiet desperation any better?
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2018 10:37:47 AM

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The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
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