Happy Birthday Henry David Thoreau

Today (July 12) is Thoreau’s birthday. I ride past Walden Pond every day on my way to and from work and try to keep in mind the things he wrote, though I admit I often forget. I should re-read Walden sometime soon.

The Christian Science Monitor ran an article with 12  quotes from Thoreau. It can be found here:


This list does not contain my favorite quote from Thoreau:

“If I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.
What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?”

But as I think about this quote, I am reminded of another from Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer:

“Christians talk about the horror of sin, but they have overlooked something. They keep talking as if everyone were a great sinner, when the truth is that nowadays, one is hardly up to it.”

It is not always easy to misbehave. I think that is something to think about.



2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Henry David Thoreau

  1. It is great for a classically leaning teen to want to study
    Latin, but how will a degree in this language pay for a mortgage, support a family and put food in the fridge.
    A well-qualified applicant in 2004 would have the same chances of getting into
    a particular college as he or she would have in 1992. With these all of these challenges facing working students, how can they balance the load.

    • That was the question I had to ask myself when I graduated from College with a degree in Classics. I got a job in finance working on mutual funds. The key is not to follow the advice of “study what you love and everything will follow.” The key is to study what you are interested in and make sure that some of your interests are employable. You also need to know why studying Latin might give you skills that apply in the real world. So, learning to document how the study of Latin can improve your ability to understand other languages, to better understand, and thus communicate in English, and to solve problems that have rules, but are complex beyond those rules. With your Latin you want to study other topics like math. science, technology, history, literature, and the social science. There is a lot to cover in a short post, but if you want to talk more about it, let me know.

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