Tag Archives: life

Good for something

“Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.”

– Henry David Thoreau

If I know the road home

If I know the road home and go along it drunk, staggering from side to side, does that makes the road along which I go a wrong one?

– Leo Tolstoy

Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I got this quote, so I don’t know what the context is. And since all I’ve read of Tolsty’s is the first few chapters of Anna Karenina, I also know very little about his philosophy.

I like this quote, nonetheless, because I think it’s saying, “An idea or philosophy shouldn’t be judged by our ability to follow it.” Things are either true or false, no matter how we respond to them. And we should follow the truth even if we find it difficult and aren’t very good at sticking with it.

So, am I right? Is that what Tolstoy is really saying?

The Sweetest Things in Life

“The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

{This quote expresses just how I feel today. It’s a beautiful day, and I’m finally starting to get over my cold. It’s the little things that make life good.}

The experiment of living

“The student who secures his coveted leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure, defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure fruitful.

“They should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end. How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?”

– Henry David Thoreau

So what’s he implying, do you think? Students should work and study at the same time? I did that, and lots of other people do to. But there are people for whom college is 4 years of spending all their time in an artificial community where everyone is like them, and where they don’t have any normal adult responsibilities. Can you really learn how to live as a full-time, on-campus, no-job college student? I’m not sure how to answer that one, or what the alternative should be.