Scott’s Thoughts: Quiet & Ready

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

-Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862); naturalist, author, philosopher

Image of Walden PondAt times adversity teaches us a quick lesson. But there are some disappointments that can completely renovate a life, that send us at first sprawling, but then reaching for something greater.

When Henry David Thoreau was 25, his beloved brother John cut himself while shaving. Days later John lay dying of lockjaw in Henry’s arms. It was John who had helped support Henry, helping pay his way at Harvard. They were close and Henry was destroyed.

A few years later, after working as a surveyor and pencil maker, Thoreau went to Walden pond, land owned by transcendentalist and friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson. His time there served as the inspiration for his most famous essay, Walden. The work “is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance.”

While we “hope for the best and prepare for the worst,” it’s important to remember that when the worst comes, perhaps there is compensation to be found while we are quiet and growing ready.

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