Thoreau on Neuroplasticity

Linda Graham

 Henry David Thoreau, beloved American author, poet, philosopher and transcendentalist(1817-1862):”As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate.

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

Many go fishing without knowing it is not fish they are after.

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruits, and resign yourself to the influences of each.

Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify.

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

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.

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

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

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right.  But do not care to convince him.  Men will believe what they see.  Let them see.

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion.  What a man thinks of himself is what determines, or rather indicates, his fate.

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

It is never too late to give up your prejudices.

To regret deeply is to live afresh.

It is as hard to see one’s self as to look backwards without turning around.

If once advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!

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

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling.  Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

We much have infinite faith in each other.  If we have not, we must never let it leak out that we have not.