USA MADE GOODS FOR MEN : FREE US SHIPPING OVER $50

The Meaning of a Simple Life

3264616-henry-david-thoreau

A few days ago I emailed Ben Hewitt, commending him on his blog, which gives his readers insight into a man and his family that have chosen to give up many aspects of modern life and its ease for the rewards of living off the land. I stated that I too, like so many men, desire a simple life. This led him to post on the subject and consequently led me to evaluate what I actually am looking for in the so called simple life. Thankfully, and not surprisingly, many of my sentiments have been captured in the past writings of one Henry David Thoreau. Seriously this relatively unknown guy with a great beard is actually a pretty good writer. You should look him up.

Excerpt from Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. If we refused, or rather used up, such paltry information as we get, the oracles would distinctly inform us how this might be done.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to “glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. 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.

I am convicted that much of what I, and likely you good reader, are looking for in the simple life is obtainable to great degree without a life on the farm. That by removing the distractions and busyness that floods our day we may be able to do meaningful work, in our families, in our friendships, and even on our meager plot of land. Though we can still welcome the farm life, and should take it up if available, we certainly shouldn’t wait for that particular season in our life before we live deliberately.

– Yarbrough

Related Posts

If Toxic Masculinity Exists, Then... // Truck Talk Thursday // The Wolf & Iron Podcast
If Toxic Masculinity Exists, Then... // Truck Talk Thursday // The Wolf & Iron Podcast
We hear an awful lot about "Toxic Masculinity" these days. However, if there is such a thing, then there must also be so
Read More
Is Chivalry Dead? // Ask a Man // The Wolf & Iron Podcast
Is Chivalry Dead? // Ask a Man // The Wolf & Iron Podcast
No doubt you've heard the phrase "Chivalry is dead", but is it? While women are certainly more liberated in many respect
Read More
Thoughts on Homeschooling // Truck Talk Thursday // The Wolf & Iron Podcast
Thoughts on Homeschooling // Truck Talk Thursday // The Wolf & Iron Podcast
With the education system continuing to push social-transforming nonsense on our kids, and the abysmal education that is
Read More
Older Post
Newer Post
Close (esc)

Popup

Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now