Best known for his book “Walden,” a series of essays about his time living alone in nature, Henry David Thoreau valued deep introspection over materialism. Rooted in his Transcendentalist belief in spirituality and simple virtues, Thoreau’s work often encourages the reader to be guided by their personal values, rather than societal expectations. It makes sense that what we value in others would already be present in us, be it kindness or courage. Thoreau reminds us that we are our own role models: In surrounding ourselves with people we admire, we realize the kind of people we are.
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