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How should we live?

by Barnhill, David L last modified Dec 30, 2011 04:44 PM

Nature writers, social leaders, and religious thinkers have given us a gift of diverse and even conflicting views about how we should live our lives. Here are a few worth keeping in mind.

Our life is frittered away by detail.... Simplicity, simplicity simplicity!
--Henry David Thoreau, chapter 2, Walden

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours....
--William Wordsworth, "The World Is Too Much With Us, Late and Soon"

[T]he practice of conservation is not merely a "personal virtue." It is the most public of virtues, an expression of our regard for our neighbors, for this marvelous planet, and for future generations.
--Scott Russell Sanders, A Conservationist Manifesto (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2009), xiii.

"Those who build walls are their own prisoners. I'm going to go fulfil my proper function in the social organism. I'm going to go and unbuild walls."
--Shevek from Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed
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by Barnhill, David L last modified Dec 30, 2011 04:44 PM