24 Timeless Henry David Thoreau Quotes That’ll Change Your Worldview

Published July 11, 2016
Updated February 10, 2017

While born centuries ago, Henry David Thoreau’s views are far from antiquated. The philosopher-poet believed that all people are inherently good, and that organized religion and politics offered themselves as major sources of corruption. His master work, Walden, solidified his place among the great poets of history, and served as a field guide for self-sufficiency.

Thoreau’s fascinating and far-reaching work has inspired generations of artists and writers, including Spencer Byles. As the following Henry David Thoreau quotes show, it’s easy to see why:

Henry David Thoreau Quotes
"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."Pexels

Walden October
"The universe is wider than our views of it." John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons

Baby Bird
"It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature."Pexels

Kindness Investment
"Goodness is the only investment that never fails." Darinka Maja/Flickr

Pond Reflection
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."Victorgrigas/Wikimedia Commons

Galaxy Color
"This world is but a canvas to our imagination."Pexels

Rules Broken
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it." Pexels

Forest Bridge
"Wealth is the ability to fully experience life." Pexels

Foggy Spruce
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us." Pexels

Buddhist Monks
"Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around."Pixabay

Dad Baby
"There is no remedy for love but to love more." Pexels

Colorful Socks
"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves."Pexels

Heaven Above
"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Pexels

Rock Climber
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." Pixabay

Volunteer Group
"Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something." Pixabay

Dont Look Back
"Never look back unless you are planning on going that way." Pexels

Dream Catcher
"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." Pexels

Wooden Sign
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." Pexels

Not Alone
"It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things." Pixabay

No Prejudice
"It is never too late to give up our prejudices." Pexels

Dreams Character
"Dreams are the touchstones of our character."Pexels

Inexperienced Heart
"The heart is forever inexperienced." Pexels

Book Reading
"It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know." Pexels

Table Coins
"Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul."Pexels

Next, read these Ernest Hemingway quotes on life and war.

Erin Kelly
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Kelly, Erin. "24 Timeless Henry David Thoreau Quotes That’ll Change Your Worldview." AllThatsInteresting.com, July 11, 2016, https://allthatsinteresting.com/henry-david-thoreau-quotes. Accessed June 23, 2024.