I had this advantage, at least, in my mode of life, over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theater, that my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel.
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
As I reached in the cold waters of Walden Pond, a crayfish snapped its claw at my hand. My friends waiting behind me quietly, not sure what was going to happen. With every second the crayfish crawled slowly away. I felt the chill of the water on my knees. I reached in the pond with lightning speed. Picked him up, almost had him, then I felt the sharp pain in my finger. I had been bit. Not only by the cray fish, but by Walden itself. The shock made me open my hand and let the cray fish get away. But the fun in the chase was still there. I will always have the memory. Standing by my friends, laughing, made me forget about the pain in my finger. This is what I believe Thoreau felt standing by Walden pond. Thoreau was a man who wanted to try something new. He was the one kid who never seemed grew up and was always full with imagination. When I visited Walden Pond I felt a rush of joy inside me. The beautiful sun glimmered off the calm water. I almost felt like nothing else in the world mattered. I felt what I believe Thoreau felt, calm. Sitting next to the water in the damp sand I leaned over and picked up a rock. With all my might I whipped my wrist forwards and let the rock skip over the water. I don't know why I did it, the child inside me decided to let go of my worries and have fun. Thoreau must have felt this way. He must have felt like he found peace with himself. Thoreau was able to change the world at Walden pond with a pen and paper. It seems impossible but Thoreau did it. At the same time he had no job, no money, and lived in a one room log cabin. With this, he was happy. It led him to write an inspirational book, Walden, that changed people for the better with its insights. I have learned from Thoreau that people can do amazing things with nothing more then normal everyday tools, living with the bare necessities. Everything matters in the world, you should never take anything for granted, Thoreau knew that. Looking over Walden pond I noticed more about it. I realized that it was not just a pond. It was a place that made history. Thoreau changed the world next to this pond. Thoreau inspired Ghandi and other great leaders and he inspired me. First thing that comes to mind standing at Walden pond is how cold and empty it could be. Not unlike cold and emptiness of Sweden. Thoreau must have had a strong stomach to live out here in the winter alone. I don't think I could ever survive living through the winter at Walden pond with no one around. Everything seems so quiet though, I wonder how Thoreau felt living alone by this pond. Standing here, in Thoreau's shoes, I feel lonely, even if I have all my class mates around me, I feel empty. I don't think I could ever live here. Thoreau seemed to like being alone by Walden Pond, He found himself less lonely with solitude. As it were his friend,“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude." -Henry David Thoreau. Living alone in not something I could do. I need human contact and friendliness to get me through the day. I still cannot complain about this view, but I need to live in a social environment. Thoreau might have been able to live in isolation, but I cannot. Thoreau is a stranger in my eyes. Anyone can build a shelter with some time and effort. Henry David Thoreau built his own log cabin for only 20 dollars. Anybody who tried could gather together 20 dollars so they could build their own shelter and have a roof over their head. Thoreau slaved away on his cabin. It took a while and hard work but he was determined to get it done. Thoreau proved that anyone who needs a home to stay in would, if necessary be able to build their own shelter with some determined work. The cabin Thoreau built sat on the edge of Walden pond made out of a few purchased wood planks and a few planks that he had to do some old hard work chopping down trees to obtain. It took him weeks in the late months of winter to finish but he did.
“Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have” "[Excerpt From: Fitzsimmons, John. “ Fitz's Abbreviated Walden 1-4.]"
Building a shelter was an example Thoreau set. Anyone who tries to make it in life and needs a place to live, has proof from Thoreau that it is possible to get back on your feet with nothing but a week worth of work money in your pocket. If men would stop being focused on being comfortable and instead focusing on their needs. Thoreau was a man who proved the impossible possible. Thoreau taught by example, so not having a roof over your head is your fault if you don't try to put one there. Why do we have to always have the best of things, instead of just the necessary. Thoreau believed that we don't need comfort to live. In Walden, Thoreau described how the poor would rather stay poor than live with the bare necessities. People want to live comfortably, but they didn't need to. Many people think that sleeping in a heated house is needed. Thoreau lived in a small unheated cabin in the woods. He proved that you can survive without living comfortably. Thoreau walked up to a homeless person on the street after hours in concord and asked him if he would like to come live with him in a small wooden shack in the forest. The man thanked no and would rather sit poor in the streets than live alone in a cold shack. The man seemed to need a living like others, or have none of it at all.
“None of the brute creation requires more than Food and Shelter.” ["Excerpt From: Fitzsimmons, John. “Fitz's Abbreviated Walden 1-4."]
Thoreau proved that you can survive by yourself with only the bare necessities. Anyone who complains about being poor and not having enough money to live on their own are liars according to Thoreau. Thoreau proved that you can live with out need of anything more than yourself and hard work. Thoreau was a man if wisdom. He inspired many in the world. Proved that living with the bare necessities is fully possible and not to hard to do. Somethings I feel Thoreau was still wrong about though. I do not believe that being old makes you unwise, or that you don't need comfort to live. We have adapted to comfort. Without it we would feel empty. I bet no one in this class would be able to live without internet or use of any modern thing for a day. Times have changed since Thoreau. Now things are a little different. His views still apply for much, but some don't. Everyone and everything is different in the world. That much I know Thoreau was right about.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. - Henry David Thoreau
This podcast is about Tommy the chimpanzee. Tommy is at court right now trying to get person rights. Tommy was found in a cage being teated horribly. We share the story about him and our thoughts on it. Thanks for listening.