Thoreau's Take on Work-Life Balance
As a transcendentalist, naturalist, and critic of many government policies, Henry David Thoreau sought a lifestyle that maximized contemplation and outdoor exploration. In 1837, he wrote: "The order of things should be somewhat reversed – the seventh should be a man's day of toil...and the other six his Sabbath..." He adopted this one-day work week while living at Walden Pond, and claimed to have worked about six weeks out of the year.
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Key Facts In This Video
Both Thoreau and Emerson were transcendentalists, prizing the spiritual over the material. (0:49)
Thoreau believed in self-reliance, and strove for both economic and social independence. (2:25)
In 1846, Thoreau spent a night in jail for refusing to pay his poll tax in protest of slavery and the Mexican-American War. (4:48)