Civil Disobedience: Henry David Thoreau

Civil Disobedience: Henry David Thoreau

I love this quote from Henry David Thoreau’s groundbreaking work, “Civil Disobedience:”

“That government is best which governs least.”

Most of us need very little governing. We abide by the laws. However, in Los Angeles, driving the posted speed limit could be worse than breaking the law – rule of thumb: keep up or face the consequences!

I have no need for a multitude of laws to keep me in line. It is natural for the majority of us to live our lives with some level of concern for our fellow human beings. There are only a few who don’t; I assume the laws are there for them – not me or you.

Still, who we choose to govern us does matter. I always vote, and I can’t say that my chosen candidates always win, but at least I have done my duty by casting my vote.

Henry David Thoreau stood up for what he believed in, including going to jail – on his principles regarding taxation. Or, as he so eloquently put it:

“I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.”

He had an uncommon level of courage, but so did the pilgrims who left England to cross the ocean to build a new life, free from religious oppression.

Our country was established by some brave souls. Courage is woven into our culture, and I hope it is never lost.  I’m with HDT:

“I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor.”