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On Life and its Costs


“However mean your life is, meet it and live it;
do not shun it and call it hard names.
It is not so bad as you are.
It looks poorest when you are richest.
The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise.

Love your life, poor as it is.
You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse.
The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode;
the snow melts before its door as early in the spring.
I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

and

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden