A Friendship

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau met in 1837.  Lucy Brown, who boarded at David Thoreau’s home, was the sister-in-law of Ralph Waldo Emerson. On April 9th, she introduced the two men who were destined to form a lifelong friendship.  Emerson was 34 and Thoreau was a 20-year old Harvard senior.  Both men were…

Three Precious Things

Frugality forms an affectionate companionship with gentleness and humility.  One leads to the other and then to the other before returning again to the beginning. Lao Tzu (Laozi), a philosopher of ancient China best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching and, in tradition, the founder of philosophical Taoism, offers these words of…

Frugality & Industry

“Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things.  It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.”  Adam Smith Adam Smith (1723-1790), a Scottish moral philosopher best known for his work entitled, “The Wealth of Nations,”…

Happiness in the Age of Victoria

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”  Charles Dickens, David Copperfield Charles Dickens was a fierce critic of poverty and the social stratification endemic within Victorian society.  Even today, we still encounter the idea of keeping up with a…

Who said it first?

“Focus on what makes you happy, and do what gives meaning to your life”  ― Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less “Less is more” seems to have its genesis in the 1855 poem attributed to Robert Browning – Andrea Del Sarto.  Andrea del Sarto was a Florentine painter who lived in the time…

Frugality vs Consumption

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”  Elise Boulding Elise…