He went to the woods to learn.
Thoreau wanted to LIVE. He wanted to learn first -hand, from nature, from the world: reality. Strip away all the facades and that’s what you have left. It’s you and the world. Drop the masks and the phony put-ons. Get real.
Live deliberately? That takes courage. That’s for the first-adopters among us. You want a real experience? One that will leave you wanting more? One that will move you? One that will twist you around, generate more questions than you know what to do with and leave you breathless, energized and wanting to race on? Oh yes. That’s the good. You don’t want that? I’m sorry. And I don’t envy you.
Getting an education is supposed to be like this. Striving, achieving, pursuing, struggling – yes. Nothing good ever came easy? right? Struggle a little. Get dirty. Get sore. Learning is a wonderful and delightful experience, but easy it is not. It’s work – remember? Work. Go back a few posts and see about that.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” That’s the full piece. He wanted to learn what the woods had to teach so that when the journey of life was done he would be able to smile, satisfied. Is this not what educators want for students? Let’s give it to them. Let’s be courageous and make it possible. Stop the traditional model’s treadmill of an experience. Stop “feeding facts” and offer opportunity. The treadmill is not fit for humanity. Let us rise to the challenge that we are capable of. We’ve got work to do.