Thursday, February 7, 2008

Simplicity via Thoreau & Yount

I was reading in my new book A Contemporary Quaker Reader: Imagination & Spirit about simplicity today. The section was written by David Yount who begins with some observations on Thoreau's experience.

"Simplify, simplify, simplify" urged Thoreau who followed his own counsel. What he sought and found was "economy". For Thoreau economy meant extracting the most from life by keeping the mind clear and the senses alert.

It is a mistake to believe that for life to be full it must be like a room crammed with furniture. A crowded life leaves no space and no time for enjoyment. Crowding distracts the mind, dulls the senses and starves the soul.

Simplicity enriches.

Thoreau's experience led him to this seemingly naive yet unquestionably wise conclusion: "That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest."

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