On Friendship…

Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were known to be friends. Even after Thoreau went to Walden, Emerson frequently visited him, bringing him gifts and supplies every few days. Friendship is an important part of any person’s life.

In my life, I’ve learned that true friends are the ones that support you, are honest with you, and care about you. I believe without friendship, life would be terribly difficult to go through. Thoreau frequently reflected on what companionship was – whether it was companionship with nature, an animal, a friend, or yourself. Thoreau found that he had the ability to be alone and be comfortable with himself and his own thoughts. However, he valued the friendship between him and Emerson greatly.

Although there are times in life when it is important, maybe even vital to be independent or alone, there are frequently times when a friend is needed. Friendship not only provides joy in a person’s life but also offers support through the good times and the bad.

I challenge myself everyday to be a friend to those who have none, to those who I do not know, and to those who were once my enemy. When I was younger, I was bitter towards these people because of the offenses they had put forward to me. As I grew older however, I recognized how my actions and words may have offended others, and that, more importantly, everyone makes mistakes.

You can impact people in positive ways even by just smiling at them. As important as it is to have friends, it is important to be a friend. To listen, respect, support and care about someone else is a wonderful and profound thing. Not only does compassion make us human but it reminds us that we all go through trials and tribulations.

I strive to be a friend and protect the friendships I have. I remain open to new friends and new experiences. I urge you to do the same, to push yourself, and invest in a lifetime of love and friendship.

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Little Fortunes

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For all of you who have been following this blog, you’ll know why I’m so excited to have gotten this fortune in my fortune cookie! For those of who you who do not know, I’ve spent the past year researching the works of naturalists, especially Henry David Thoreau. So, when I opened my cookie only to read “Go confidently on the direction of your dreams” I was overjoyed (it also had my lucky numbers 6 and 12) which meant this was meant to be –or something along those lines of fate.

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Nature’s Perfection…

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” -Alice Walker

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Religion and Nature…

When trying to answer why people go into nature in an attempt to escape mainstream society, it is important to understand that each person that has gone into nature has gone for their own reason(s). Collectively, there are general reasons like searching for adventure, trying to see the world and travel, scientific research, or escaping a rough family/social life. One answer, often overlooked, is that some people go into nature for religious reasons.

In particular, I have researched eastern religions, which, by the way, Thoreau was inspired by. These religions include Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and many others.

The goal of Taoism is to live forever. In order to achieve immortality, a Taoist must meditate and submit to nature and the flow of energy because all things are connected. The five elements are water, earth, metal, wood and fire. The balance of all things, including the elements is represented through the symbol, the Yin and Yang. Taoism is closely related to nature because Taoists believe that nature (the 5 elements) are the source of energy and life.

Another religion that closely related to my research is Jainism. Jainism promotes non-violence to all living things. Many Jainist monks give up all material possessions and live as one with nature, meditating. Through this effort, Jainists hope to liberate their soul and free their inner essence. Jainism also believe that the universe is controlled by the laws of nature, and follow the Mahavratas.

Although I am no expert in the area of world religion, I do believe it’s important to recognize different ideas, religions and cultures. My research does not focus on religious reasons why people go into nature, but, it would only be ignorant of me not to include them. I certainly am interested in learning more about different religions.

My research continues to inspire me and remind me of how there never is just one answer…

 

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On Passion…

Everyone has a passion. Everyone has something that motivates them to indulge further into life and the experiences it has to offer. Some people have passion for art, music, science, etc. I believe that the happiest of people are those that have invested their life in their passion, whatever that may be. And, in contrast, I believe the saddest of people are those who have watched their passion slip away.

It took me awhile to understand what my passion was. I’ve always known what my interests are, some of which being photography, painting, music, and hiking. However, being interested in something doesn’t always mean your passionate about it. After doing some introspective reflections, I realized that my passion is not one single thing. I have a passion for exploring life and trying new things.

My journey through nature has only deepened my passion for life. I was inspired by Thoreau and the works of others who searched for their passion and stayed true to them. Now, I continue to find inspiration in the world around me.

People too often forget how beautiful the world is. Perhaps we are blinded by materialism, or perhaps we are tainted by all of the atrocities that occur world-wide. It is equally important to remember the beauty in life as it is to remember how quickly that beauty can become corrupted. Without the reminder of past and present problems in the world, people would, most likely, become greedy and unappreciative. Without the reminder of past and present victories and moments of beauty, people would, most likely become cold and fearful.

I strive not to be greedy but to be appreciative. I allow myself to be fearful – but not so that I become immobilized and bitter. Without having a passion, I believe I would lack a purpose. My purpose is what helps me live each day with open eyes and an open heart. My purpose is not for someone else, a higher power, or anything. It’s mine. I challenge myself every day to dive deeper into my passion, and fulfill the expectations that I give myself in order to be the person I wish to be.

I encourage you to own your purpose. Whether that purpose be your own, to someone else, to a higher power, or whatever it may be, I challenge you to find it and understand it. Become your own purpose. Indulge in your passion. Be the person you wish to be, and never let anyone or anything keep you from fulfilling that.

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Nature’s Effect on Mankind…

“Forests, lakes and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes – every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.”  -Orison Swett Marden

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Pictures from Walden Pond

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