Freedom: Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Should we look to others or to ourselves as the source of meaning in life? In Thoreau’s chronicle of life at Walden Pond, he argues an introvert’s case for an independent orientation.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” – Thoreau
Which type of heroic figure teaches us the most about life: a leader who carves a path of decisions affecting millions amidst the complexity of intergroup conflict? Or a sage who withdraws from the fray and discovers profound eternal truths? If you lean toward the latter, the introvert path, Thoreau might become your prophet and his book Walden your bible.