What We Need VS. What We Don’t
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Not everyone needs what they have. In Henry David Thoreau’s first chapter of Walden, “Economy”, he considers life’s necessities and how people spoil themselves. To him, necessities other than, food, water, and shelter, shouldn’t be clothes we don’t need or house we work extremely hard for when it’s not worth it. I agree that people shouldn’t work and slave themselves for half their life to have a fancy house. I also agree not everyone needs clothes to just have and let them sit in their closet. We shouldn’t work extra hours or put in extra time just to waste money on things nobody needs or things we may never use more than once.
“A man who has at length found something to do will not need to get a new suit to do it in; for him the old will do…Old shoes will serve a hero longer than they have served his valet—if a hero ever has a valet—bare feet are older than shoes, and he can make them do…”
Thoreau states his opinion about how fancy clothes or shoes aren’t needed. He considers how hero’s don’t spoil themselves and don’t spoil themselves instead use what works instead of making an unnecessary upgrade.
While reading this piece, it made me consider all of things I have that I don’t need. Thinking about this made this piece interesting for me because I was able to connect it to my own life which continued to make me thinking. When considering my own life I thought about how lucky I am to have a nice house, fancy clothes, and how I’m able to go to a nice school. I thought about the people in my town who were left on the streets because of the gas explosions and how I was able to stay warm inside my own. It made me realize how lucky I really am. In the story Thoreau chooses to live a tough life and is living off the bare minimums, which made it hard for me to relate. We are living completely differently, so I couldn’t picture myself in his shoes and living like him. It also made me think about all the people out there working so hard and living on so little, struggling to get by. I though about all of the people who work so hard and spend their money on a fancy house and nice clothes that they will be paying off for thirty years. “With a little more wit we might use these materials so as to become richer than the richest now are, and make our civilization a blessing.” I then realized that if they were smarter and saved there money they would eventually be better in the end.
Wasting money on things we may use once or twice is completely unnecessary.