The Thought for the Day – Thoreau

If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad of instances and applications? – Henry David Thoreau, Walden


Henry David Thoreau needs no introduction to most, and certainly not to our regular readers. HIs views on reducing your life to its most basic terms, on proceeding confidently in the direction of your dreams, continue to provide valuable lessons on a life well-lived.

Today’s Thought could be considered contradictory by some, because one of the lessons Thoreau teaches, and one preached constantly here at The Thought for the Day, is to follow your hearts and trust your instincts. Your heart will tell you where to go in this life and your instincts will tell you how to get there and the people who make good things happen for themselves in this life do this every day. Not some days or some years. Not every other day or when it’s convenient, but every day.

If we were to follow today’s Thought to the letter, we would have stopped writing years ago. After all, we’ve been writing for many years and our thoroughly familiar with the principle, so why bother to do it every day? Well, because it’s what we were put here to do. To not do it would not be doing anyone any good whatsoever. Us humans must never stop doing what we were meant to be doing.

What today’s Thought refers to are other things that come up during a life, specifically things we should do in small measures because they do not provide a dividend – like being entertained – or aspects of our lives we should wind down because a cycle of our life is ending and it is time to move on to something else.

Our personal example is, again, sports officiating. We did it, very well, for many years but we seldom officiate anymore. We had become about as good as we were going to get and had accomplished all we cared to, and when you’ve come to that point in any experience it is time to consider casting this experience aside. We had come to the end of our interest, were acquainted with the principles officiating taught, and were prepared to do other things.

There comes a time when we’ve withdrawn every possible benefit from an experience. When we’ve done that we should be both grateful and ready to set the experience aside.

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