Where I Lived, and What I Lived for
In the “Where I Lived, and What I Lived for” chapter of Walden, Thoreau emphasized that people need to make life simple and slow because it eventually helps you know your real goal and realize the true meaning of life. He begins with his own story –he imagines that he works at farms as a farmer and he cares for seeds in succession. He thinks his farms will bring happiness because all sessions for cultivation are naturally accomplished. However, his imagination ends up with his real financial situation.
He wants to buy farms not minding his profit margin but enjoying his time with seeds. However, the owner turns down his proposal because his reason was hardly accepted in modern times where people give importance to wealth. After this experience living in a house in the woods, he feels a natural spirit and he glorifies the beauty of nature. He developed his feeling for nature after he realizes that people should be awakened –“[They] must learn to reawaken and keep [them] selves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn”.
He also came to know why people are so busy and why they work as hard as “ants” It is because people seem to set count on economical value but people do not know what they really want. According to his examples, there is a railroad which can effectively reduce time between places. At the same time, we could lose our landscape to see. So, he describes a railroad that “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us”. Therefore, he criticizes that “fast” seems to be effective but it brings wrong judgment and lose our opportunity.
He mentions that our society is pressured to “hurry” for our life to be successful. However, he thinks that our society now is complicated and dangerous because we do not have ideas of “slow” and “simple” to reflect ourselves. All in all, he states that we need time to be “slow” and “simple” for our clever intelligent life. This is his obvious viewpoints – “Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track”.