"Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other. We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old musty cheese that we are. We have had to agree on a certain set of rules, called etiquette and politeness, to make this frequent meeting tolerable and that we need not come to open war. We meet at the post-office, and at the sociable, and about the fireside every night; we live thick and are in each other’s way, and stumble over one another, and I think that we thus lose some respect for one another… The value of a man is not in his skin, that we should touch him."
- Henry David Thoreau (from CH.5: Solitude in Walden)
"Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind."
- Henry David Thoreau (from Walden)
"If I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.
What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?"
- Henry David Thoreau (Walden)