Henry David Thoreau was an American author, environmentalist, philosopher, naturalist, poet, historian, surveyor and a transcendentalist who encouraged the life of simple living and doing away with the complications. He was born in the year 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, US. He is till date popular for his book ‘Walden’ which is a reflective text on simple living in natural surroundings. The book was first published in the year 1854 and revolves around the ideas of independence, spiritual discovery and self-reliance. Simplicity Day is observed on his birthday, July 12th as he vehementaly propagated simple living.
Thoreau spent 2 years, 2 months and 2 days in the cabin that he built near Walden Pond, Concord, Massachusetts, US. During his stay he made scientific observations of nature and used poetic and metaphorical expressions of the natural phenomena in the book to describe his discoveries. This book is still popular because it contains a marvellous record of many animals and plants found in water mentioned in both their scientific and popular names. It also talks about the freezing and thawing of the pond and all that Thoreau came across during his stay amidst nature. The book is a reflection of what it is like to stay in isolation.
Simplicity resurrected by Covid
Over the years our lives had become more and more cluttered. We were running and gasping for breath to keep up with the competition. One of the few good things that was brought about by Covid was that it slowed down our lives. It taught us that it is still possible to survive by decluttering our lives. In isolation, our lives became much simpler and more meaningful. Sometimes we need to just technologically detoxify ourselves to relish the beauty of simplicity and to connect with the person within.
Lockdown and isolation taught us that it is possible to live without complications and that too in a satisfied and happy state of mind. Last but not the least we need to embrace minimalism as has been propagated by the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Do not clutter yourself with too much technology. Bathe yourself in nature as emphasized by Thoreau and digitally detoxify whenever possible.