How to get ones living honestly

by layman k

Reading today’s entry from Thoreau’s Journal I found the following passage particularly striking. Especially with times being what they are:

In those days when how to get my living honestly, with freedom left for my proper pursuits, was a ques- tion which vexed me even more than it does now, I used to see a large box by the railroad, by three wide, in which the workmen six feet.long locked up their

tools at night; and it suggested to me that everyman who was hard pushed inight get him such a one for a dollar, and, having bored a few auger-holes in it, to admit the air at least, get into it when it rained and at night, and shut the lid and hook it, and so have freedom in his mind, and in his soul be free. This did not seem the worst alternative, nor by any means a despicable resource. You could sit up as late as you pleased; and, whenever you got up in the morning, you would not have any creditor dogging you for rent. I should not be in a bad box. Many a man is harassed to death to pay the rent of a larger and more luxurious box, who would not have frozen to death in such a box as this. I should not be in so bad a box as many a man is in now .’

If you mean by hard times, times, not when there is no bread, but when there is no cake, I have no sym- pathy with, you.

Economy is a subject that admits of being treated with levity, but it is not a subject that can be so dis- posed of.’

from the journals of Henry David Thoreau