solitude and society

“As for the dispute about solitude and society, any comparison is impertinent. It is an idling down on the plain at the base of a mountain instead of climbing steadily to its top. Of course you will be glad of all the society you can get to go up with. “Will you go to glory with me?” is the burden of the song. I love society so much that I swallowed it all at a gulp— i.e. all that came in my way. It isn’t that we love to be alone, but that we love to soar, and when we do soar, the company grows thinner and thinner till there is none at all… We are not less to to aim at the summits, though the multitude does not ascend them. Use all that society will abet you. But perhaps I do not enter into the spirit of your talk…”

— Henry David Thoreau, Correspondence 424

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