Happy Birthday, Henry!

All day today I will be thinking of Henry David Thoreau, who was born July 12, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. Although he lived his whole life in the village of Concord, as a writer, philosopher, abolitionist, social activist, minimalist, naturalist, environmentalist, and avid hiker (though he preferred the word saunter), Thoreau was one of America’s greatest pioneers. His writings have influenced some of the world’s greatest minds. I know he has inspired my thinking since high school. (I loved his “castles in the air” quote and his plea for simplicity.)

For his 200th birthday I could’ve easily listed dozens of quotes, but in honor of Henry, I have decided to share just one of my favorites. If you’re interested, you should have no trouble this week finding insightful and inspiring articles about him everywhere great thinking is respected. If nothing else spend a few minutes thinking through the implications of my selected quote.

And here is the quote:

“Children are attracted by the beauty of butterflies, but their parents and legislators deem it an idle pursuit. The parents remind me of the devil, not the children of God. Though God may have pronounced his work good, we ask. ‘Is it not poisonous?'” — Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 1859.

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