Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Weekly quote: On voluntary poverty

“One gains by losing and loses by gaining.” – Tao Te Ching, 6th century BC

“Themistocles, when asked whether he would marry his daughter to a good poor man, or to a rich man of less respectable character, replied, ‘I, indeed, prefer the man who lacks money to the money that lacks a man.'” – Cicero, 106 BC - 43 BC

“Perhaps I am more than unusually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting a living.” – Thoreau, 1817-1862

“Practice poverty of spirit in the midst of riches, practice richness of spirit in real poverty.”  – St. Francois de Sales, 1567-1622

[All passages taken from the wonderful book of quotes, Less is More.]

2 comments:

Amela said...

I love the quotes.

yarrow said...

Great blog!

I've always known I'm 'more than unusually jealous with respect to my freedom,' although for me it took time to find courage to be myself. The following quote aptly expresses my view of simplifying and the simple life:

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."

- H.D.Thoreau