Most Inspiring Henry David Thoreau Quotes That Explain The Importance Of Simplicity And Nature

Henry David Thoreau an American essayist, poet, philosopher, transcendentalist and naturalist. He is particularly known for the book Walden written above the natural surroundings.

Here transcendentalists are those who write and talk about the importance of spirituality on physical life.

He has always explained the importance of simplicity and authenticity to people and asked them to live that way.

He was born on July 12, 1817 in the concord town of west Boston. His father’s name was John Thoreau who was a pencil maker and His mother’s name is Cynthia Dunbar.

Henry David Thoreau

From 1833 to 1837, He studied subjects such as rhetoric, classics, philosophy, mathematics, and science at Harvard College. And from 1940 he started writing Natural Poetry.

Thoreau had a notable friendship with the American transcendentalist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

For this reason, the transcendentalism of David Thoreau is strongly inspired by Emerson. 

In addition, Emerson helped David Thoreau to improve his writing. Emerson helps Thoreau to find a place where he could focus on his writing.

Emerson gave David Thoreau a plot of land in the woods surrounding Walden Pond.

Having lived there for two years, Henry David Thoreau wrote his best book, Walden. This book is quite inspiring which is useful for self-discovery.

Thoreau's cabin near Walden Pond
Thoreau’s cabin and a statue of him near Walden Pond

He always loves natural things. He believed that we should see nature from a spiritual point of view.

David Thoreau also has a very good contribution to political philosophy. His essay “Civil disobedience” has greatly influenced American politics. 

This essay also influenced great people like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

His creations teach us how to keep away from the distortions of money, technology and other people’s views.

He has written more than 20 books, essays and poems in his lifetime. He has given birth to modern environmentalism from his writings.

Famous Henry David Thoreau Quotes :

famous henry david thoreau quotes
Dreams are the touchstones of our characters. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me the truth.

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.

 I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.

famous henry david thoreau quotes
Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. (Image Source:

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. 

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.

best henry david thoreau quotes
All good things are wild and free. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.

best henry david thoreau quotes
There is no remedy for love but to love more. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Things do not change; we change.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it.

Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

henry thoreau quotes
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.

Any fool can make a rule and any fool will mind it.

no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.

henry thoreau quotes
The language of Friendship is not words, but meanings. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.

All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.

What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

david henry thoreau quotes
This world is a canvas to our imaginations. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

david henry thoreau quotes
Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

It is not worth the while to let our imperfections disturb us always.

Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.

Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe.

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him.

David Thoreau Quotes :

david thoreau quotes
Be grateful for what you are and have. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

You can alter your life by altering your attitude.

My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite.

The universe is wider than our views of it.

Wildness is the preservation of the World.

david thoreau quotes
We are born as innocents. We are polluted by advice. (Photo by Bettmann From Getty Images)

The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.

Men are born to succeed, not to fail.

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.

We are constantly invited to be what we are.

david thoreau quotes
You can make yourself rich by making your wants few. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

Man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.

Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.

Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. 

david thoreau quotes
Renew thyself completely each day. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.

The heart is forever inexperienced.

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.

david thoreau quotes
Night is certainly more novel and less profane than day. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful.

The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.

henry david thoreau sayings
Life in us is like the water in a river. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Be resolutely and faithfully what you are; be humbly what you aspire to be.

If I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.

The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready.

It takes two to speak the truth – one to speak and another to hear.

henry david thoreau sayings
Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will evade you. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Enthusiasm is a supernatural serenity.

Our whole life is startlingly moral. There is never an instant’s truce between virtue and vice. 

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

All change is a miracle to contemplate, but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.

henry david thoreau sayings
The greatest art is to shape the quality of the day.

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

As to conforming outwardly and living your own life inwardly, I do not think much of that.

To read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise.

Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.

henry david thoreau sayings
Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

He who hears the rippling of rivers in these degenerate days will not utterly despair.

I do not know how to distinguish between waking life and a dream.

While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them.

The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.

henry thoreau quotes
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. (Image Source:

Love must be as much a light as it is a flame.

I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows.

We hear and apprehend only what we already half know.

Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.

henry thoreau quotes
Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

Books can only reveal us to ourselves, and as often as they do us this service we lay them aside.

The true harvest of my life is intangible.

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.

henry thoreau quotes
It is never too late to give up our prejudices.  – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

A gun will give you the body, not the bird.

If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things.

The perception of beauty is a moral test.

A man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well.

henry thoreau quotes
The rich man is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Read not the Times, read the Eternities.

There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world, and yet we tolerate incredible dullness.

I silently smiled at my incessant good fortune.

What people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes About Nature :

henry david thoreau quotes about nature
Nature is as well adapted to our weakness as to our strength. – Henry David Thoreau Quotes

If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling.

I have a room all to myself; it is nature.

Walden Pond Quotes :

walden pond quotes
A taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors. (Image Source:

As long as possible, live free and uncommitted.

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.

Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other.

The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.

No man ever followed his genius til it misled him.

walden pond quotes
The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise.

The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad.

I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race.

In the long run men only hit what they aim at.

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion.

Henry David Thoreau Quotes on Simplicity :

henry david thoreau quotes on simplicity
Simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. (Image Source:

Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity.

Be not simply good; be good for something.

The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend.

Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.

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