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.
from The School of Life
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)