Life Without Principle
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|Henry David Thoreau|
- Don't cheat people by conspiring with them to protect their comfort zones.
- Don't make religions and other such institutions the sort of intellectual comfort zone that prevents you from entertaining ideas that aren't to be found there.
- Don't cheat yourself by working primarily for a paycheck. If what you do with your life free-of-charge is so worthless to you that you'd be convinced to do something else in exchange for a little money or fame, you need better hobbies.
- Furthermore, don't hire someone who's only in it for the money.
- Sustain yourself by the life you live, not by exchanging your life for money and living off that.
- It is a shame to be living off an inheritance, charity, a government pension, or to gamble your way to prosperity—either through a lottery or by such means as prospecting for gold.
- Remember that what is valuable about a thing is not the same as how much money it will fetch on the market.
- Don't waste conversation and attention on the superficial trivialities and gossip of the daily news, but attend to things of more import: "Read not the Times. Read the Eternities."
- Similarly, politics is something that ought to be a minor and discreet part of life, not the grotesque public sport it has become.
- Don't mistake the march of commerce for progress and civilization—especially when that commerce amounts to driving slaves to produce the articles of vice like alcohol and tobacco. There's no shortage of gold, of tobacco, of alcohol, but there is a short supply of "a high and earnest purpose."
- "Life Without Principle". The Atlantic Monthly, A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics. Boston: Ticknor and Fields. XII (LXXII): 484–495. October 1863. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Google Books.
- Life Without Principle at Wikisource.
- Life Without Principle at The Picket Line.
- Life Without Principle (Illustrated & Annotated) at Tumblr.
- My Thoughts are Murder to the State by Henry David Thoreau (ISBN 978-1434804266)
- The Higher Law: Thoreau on Civil Disobedience and Reform (ISBN 978-0691118765)
- Collected Essays and Poems by Henry David Thoreau (ISBN 978-1-88301195-6)
- Life Without Principle by Henry David Thoreau (ISBN 978-1544908311)
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