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National Simplicity Day tips from 19th century’s Thoreau

July 12, 2016 GMT

SIOUX CITY | Today is the unofficial National Simplicity Day, since July 12 is the birthday of Henry David Thoreau.

Born in 1817, Thoreau became a renowned author, naturalist and philosopher, promoting simple living as America in the 19th century became more industrialized. He moved to a cabin near a pond for two years.

A contemporary portrait of Henry David Thoreau, American poet, author and naturalist who died in 1862. (AP Photo)

In his book “Walden” (1854) and other writings, Thoreau described ways people could tap into themselves and be happier through a lifestyle that was less hectic. Here are some key tips Thoreau wrote about:

-- “I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest man thinks he must attend to in a day... So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real.”

-- “The rule is to carry as little as possible.”

-- “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

-- “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

-- “It is well to find your employment and amusement in simple and homely things. These wear best and yield most.”

-- “Men have become tools of their tools.”