Quiet desperation

You: Did you read it?

Me: No, I don’t like to read. Reading for elitist liberal types. 😀
Me: “Lives of quiet desperation.” Have you ever heard of that?

You: No.

[quiet desperation after the jump.]
It’s a quote from a famous book of early American literature. A man named Henry David Thoreau went into the woods by a lake in Massachusetts to contemplate the meaning of things. He wrote a book there called Walden which marked the height of a period of American literature—the positive aspects of being an American: simplicity, self-reliance, criticism, rightness of cause, and, most of all, a life of integrity. That became known as Transcendentalism.

The full quote is:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”

It’s hard to say what he means, but I think he implies that there is something missing in each of us. Most of us eventually resign themselves to that and lead a life of resignation.

Like you, I often like to go for walks alone. When I do, I am sometimes overcome with that feeling of quiet desperation. It can’t be heard normally because of the bustle of the things we’ve resigned ourselves to do.

That chapter of Walden concludes the key to changing this and living a “spiritual” life was to begin with self-criticism.

This reminds me of what you wrote…
…which I didn’t read because I don’t like to read. 😉

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