Although we might think we’d have it all, if and when we have it all, Henry David Thoreau and Herman Hesse’s readings show how we don’t have anything until we have next to nothing. A test of perceived happiness versus real happiness was done to the main characters in both readings. The naturally complacent way through life for these two was obviously one that was chosen for them but rich (either by society or by parents). Instead of taking the wealthier and “more fulfilling” ways of life plus short term benefits, they chose to question what they were given and yet somehow stay appreciative. Through doing so, they benefited with skills from endeavors that you, or me the “civilized” could have never accomplished – even with modern technology. In Walden, Thoreau takes a trip to Walden Lake and teaches us that cherishing just a few things can be a lot more beautiful than having hundreds of things. Having so many things does not allow us to have enough time to even love or value any of these. Also, spreading our love and values over so many items can dilute our values for items as well as weaken our strength of loving things over time. In Siddhartha, Fueled by existentialist thoughts, Siddhartha leaves a life of a good family and royalty for a journey -- or more so a gamble, to find happiness. He didn 't know what adventure he had ahead of him, but he did end up learning that life can be valuable if you value the essential things in life. In these ways, both readings had a theme of short-term benefits versus long-term consequences.
Henry David Thoreau lived away from civilization for 2 years, 2 months and 2 days. In this time span he managed to gather the wisdom to teach us that we shouldn’t let our lives fritter away in meaning...
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...epending on what drives you as a person; this could either mean a huge waste of time for you or a huge progression in life (hopefully it 's the latter). In today’s world with Internet and literally any question you have answered at the push of a button, it’s really hard to depict a life where virtually anyone would choose to leave their life of comfort for a life of journey and search. However, I use this outcome as motivation for my lifelong search of end-goal benefits. As a smoker, I wonder why I smoke after reading these readings. I choose the short-term benefits over the long-term consequences on a daily basis. These brave two souls who risked their lives didn’t give in to their temptations and focused solely on their intentions. Proving that living a life that focuses on the long term almost always will out-benefit the life chosen to benefit the short term.
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