Yeah, he was weird, too. Kind of a mooch, kind of odd, kind of fanatic. But as I mature, I keep remembering ideas from Henry that remind me to slow down, to breathe, to observe. Remember the big walking eyeball?
There are things that are simply not worth the time and energy it takes to do them. Those things should be dumped before they mess up your head. "Simplify, simplify, simplify," Henry says, so I toss in the garbage that $20 gift certificate that I can't figure out how to redeem. It isn't worth the effort for a sawbuck.
There are things that matter to me that don't matter to others, and vice versa. My "different drummer" makes it impossible for me to care as much as you do about your own drummer's call. So I choose not to participate in the latest "authors must. . .", even if my agent would like me to.
And, corny as it may sound, I too, "go to the woods" because I want to live deliberately. Not that I withdraw completely from society, but I try to find time every day to withdraw for a time to where the phone, the computer, and people in general can not distract me from thinking, really thinking, about things.
Does that make me a Trancendentalist in a world of Pop/Rap/Pragmatists? I'm definitely closer to Thoreau than to any of our contemporary thinkers in the media, most of whom hardly deserve the term. How can they think when they're surrounded by demands, inundated with noise, and bombarded with the opinions? A few days on Walden Pond might be exactly what those FOX News guys need.