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And they had faith that all would be well because humans could transcend limits and reach astonishing heights.
He believed that people were naturally good and that everyone's potential was limitless.
He inspired his colleagues to look into themselves, into nature, into art, and through work for answers to life's most perplexing questions.
Later, when he wrote about the simplicity and unity of all things in nature, his faith in humanity, and his sturdy individualism, Thoreau reminded everyone that life is wasted pursuing wealth and following social customs.
Nature can show that "all good things are wild and free." "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.
Simplify, simplify." – from Walden (1854), by Henry David Thoreau As a group, the transcendentalists led the celebration of the American experiment as one of individualism and self-reliance.
They took progressive stands on women's rights, abolition, reform, and education.
Because one of the main purposes of transcendentalism is to focus on what you need, instead of what you are told you need, simplicity is key.
All unnecessary traditions and customs, that never applied to you or your beliefs in the first place, should be cast aside, and you should only do what is necessary for you to survive and achieve your transcendentalism.
In order to defeat this, he decided he had to leave everything behind that was not absolutely necessary.
When Thoreau moved to Walden Pond, it was to connect with nature, rely on his own self, but mostly to simplify all that he did not need to have.