26 March 1856

by layman k

I am sometimes affected by the consideration that a man may spend the whole of his life after boyhood in accomplishing a particular design; as if he, were put to a special and petty use, without taking time to look around him and appreciate the phenomenon of his existence. If so many purposes are thus necessarily left unaccomplished, perhaps unthought of, we are reminded of the transient interest we have in this life. Our interest in our country, in the spread of liberty, etc., strong and, as it were, innate as it is, cannot be as transient as our present existence here. It cannot be that all those patriots who die in the midst of their career have no further connection with the career of their country.

from the journals of Henry David Thoreau