Like many of us, Henry David Thoreau wore many hats. Writer. Poet. Historian. Naturalist. Philosopher. Most people can (and do) juggle that many titles all the time. So what made him great? Why is he one of the most respected and influential historical philosophers? Regardless of the role he played, his foundational belief system made up his spirit. His spirit enabled him with the resources to produce quality over quantity.
“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours’ toil,” Thoreau observed. “The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.”
I overheard mom and dad talking tonight about what makes me unique. After a moment’s pause, dad said it’s my spirit he loves most. I see that as a very high compliment.
Merriam-Webster defines “spirit” as “an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms.” While I would argue that I wear more than one unique personality hat, dad’s comment made my day. What a blessing it is that my spirit literally gives life to me every day, but more importantly, because it gives figurative life to those around me. My spirit is contagious. I say this with confidence because I smile with my tail most of the time, and find that smiling can be incredibly contagious. I get so excited to see visitors that I often jump up to greet them. I know its naughty, but its a way I share my joy, and (nine times out of ten), the visitor catches the joy bug.
That got me to thinking about Thoreau, a philosopher whose simple belief in the inherent good in nature and people I wholeheartedly share. I find peace through a transcendental state of mind, and when I’m at peace I can most effectively share joy with the world. Oddly enough, I find that sometimes I spend so much time focusing on exterior locus’ of affection, love, and joy that I struggle to see it in myself. It’s so much easier to be self deprecating than to pause and toot your own horn every once in a while. So, just for today, call me a trombone player.
- There is More Day to Dawn (textingthecity.wordpress.com)
- Reflection for today…Lost To Be Found -Henry David Thoreau (mysoulsonice.wordpress.com)
- Allowing Yourself To Break Before You Bloom (ollinmorales.wordpress.com)