Thoreau Thursdays (50): Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer
March 29, 2012
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden
This week Thoreau’s quote again celebrates individuality, but it is also a call for tolerance. I think I am a fairly tolerant person, but the bigger challenge for me is to embrace differences. Surely enjoying the company of people who are different from me will enrich my life in ways I cannot predict.
If I want to continue growing as a person, I must stretch myself — find the opportunities and lessons in the hardships that come my way, invite conversations with people who are not like me, travel to places outside my comfort zone, and use my imagination to bring me closer to understanding and acceptance of the world I live in.
At the same time, I must find the beat of my own drum, even if it takes me out of step with the conventions of the day. This is a lot to reflect on!