….it just might exist


“Why is it that men give so poor an account of their day if they have not been slumbering? They are not such poor calculators. If they had not been overcome with drowsiness, they would have performed something. The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred million to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.”

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden, “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”

Before you answer the below prompt:  Make a list of the activities of your typical day.

  • How much of what you do is routine?
  • Does that routine create a situation where you are just going through the motions and thinking very little about the meaning of your day?
  • Do you spend more of your time “slumbering” through life or are you “awake” and intellectually engaged? Why?
  • At what point in your day do you feel most invigorated, most alive?
  • What would it take to make you “fully awake”?

Prompt: Drawing on the examples from your own life, explain whether or not you agree with Thoreau’s ideas. Are you conscious of your actions? Are you fully awake? What gets in the way of conscious, deliberate living? What does it take to get you “wake up and [moving towards] a more deliberate life?”

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