Peace Pilgrim had a different reason for her minimalistic life that she lived. She walked all over the United States multiple times throughout 28 years. Her goal was to walk until there was peace throughout the world while Thoreau and McCandless began their journey to find their purpose in life and to get the most of their life experiences. They all share the belief that you do not need much of your earthly possessions to live a fruitful life. I believe that their approach to life is very interesting and it may be naive, but it is also a good thought in general. People do have too much stuff and every once in a while need to wind down and get away from their everyday responsibilities and their material possessions. SO while it may be naive in some ways, the intentions are good and the overall concept is touching. I find Peace Pilgrim to be inspiring in how she always sees the good in people. It can often be hard to look at the good things in life, especially when it comes to people we do not particularly like or get along with. She saw the good in the world and I think that that is an amazing attitude to have. I sometimes forget to look at the good and I think it would give everyone some needed perspective and greater joy. If you focus on the bad then you will not be able to fully enjoy the good and what kind of life is that to live.
Peace Pilgrim, Thoreau, and McCandless both have a few things in common, such as their desire to find a more meaningful life than the ones they were originally living. For McCandless and Thoreau, this was to go out into the wilderness and live in it for a time, learning to live a life aside from society, and for Peace Pilgrim, it was to walk across the United States until mankind could learn to live together in peace. All three of these people also believed society to be flawed in major ways, and that society was a place that took the real meaning out of life. However, one of the major differences is that Peace Pilgrim had a more selfless goal, as she was trying to help others achieve the way of peace, whereas Thoreau and McCandless went for more personal goals. McCandless’s approach to life was far too naive to be practical, wherein at first he could make it quite well when he was hitchhiking around the states and living in camps, but once he got up to Alaska and thought that he could live in the Bush with hardly any supplies, that was a prime example of naivety, where he thought he could make it in a harsh environment he had hardly truly studied at all. However, Peace Pilgrim and Thoreau’s lives seem to have worked out well enough for them, so it could not necessarily be said that they are all too naive. I would take most inspiration from Thoreau, in that I believe his advice that we should try and separate ourselves more from the constant commotion of our daily lives and take time to admire the finer things, not stressing ourselves out with constant information that is often useless and not helpful. Using this to better ones own life would be most practically done by not letting every little thing that happens in the world wear you down, and to take more time to stop the constant flow of useless information, and spend time with the real things in life, like your family or the outdoors.
Peace Pilgrim shared many beliefs with Thoreau and Christopher McCandless, like living a life of simplicity, owning only what they could carry, and being opposed to government (Thoreau, McCandless) or war (Peace Pilgrim.) Though they had noble ideals, Thoreau, McCandless, and Peace Pilgrim’s approaches to life were all unrealistic or impractical in one way or another. Thoreau’s was impractical because he only spent a short time in the woods, not a lifetime, so therefore he didn’t really practice the case he made for simplicity. McCandless’s approach was both unrealistic and impractical, because his motives suggest that he was upset with society, but his actions were only affecting himself and not helping other members of society; making change impossible. Peace Pilgrim’s way of life was only unrealistic because her mission just brought about small, one-person-at-a-time changes rather than wide systemic changes, though small changes are better than no changes at all.
Of these three, Peace Pilgrim’s life provides me with inspiration because she brought awareness to the beauty of peace. She walked alone on the road but nothing bad happened to her during that time. She led by example and showed others that it is possible to be peaceful and how it can look. Putting this inspiration into my life would mean I would have to really dedicate myself to a cause and to being an example for people.
Peace Pilgrim, Henry David Thoreau, and Chris McCandles are all people who had an idea set in their mind and set out to pursue that idea. Thoreau calls for simplicity, McCandles calls for adventure, and Peace Pilgram calls for peace. They achieve this not in a matter of days or months but years. For two years Thoreau stayed in a little cabin all by himself while taking regular visits to his collegues as he devolped a deeper understanding of human nature. Chris McCandles seemed to share and believe in what Thoreau wrote as he embarked on his own journey ridding himself of all material possesions embarking on a journey that eventually would prove to be his demise. Peace Pilgram was alike these two in the fact that she did not believe in material possesions and simply relied on the kindness of strangers. The major diffrence is that she was calling for a change world wide. She was calling for peace, something that humanity has been calling for throughout history. In dedication to this calling she walked from one end of the country to the other six times and was begining her seventh time when an unfortunate accident brought about her passing. Although what Thoreau wrote about and what McCandles did with simplifying their lives I do not neccacrly agree with what they believe in. Personally I see no need to simplyfy my life or to turn away from sociatal norms. Especially when we live in a time where those norms are ever expanding. Peace Pilgram’s idea was to walk until world peace was achieved and however admirable this may have been it was also a feeble feat. Humans differ from animals in the fact that we can process and devolp origanal thought. While this is a gift it’s also a curse. Religeon, politics, food, oil, money, and power have all been causes of conflicts around the globe for almost all of recorded history. It’s human nature to push the limits and boundries of existing thought which is contrary to what all three of them believed in.
Peace Pilgrim, Chris McCandless, and Thoreau all share the general belief that there is more to life than money or living a conventional way. During the NPR interview, Peace Pilgrim shared that she discovered “money-making was easy, but not satisfying.” It appears that Chris had the same views, as he left his small fortune to charity, and gave up most of his belongings to hit the road and live off things he could carry on his back. Thoreau lived in similar ways, and when he went into the woods went with few items, and only had what he considered to be necessities. Peace Pilgrim ends her interview by saying: “I certainly am a happy person,” which in my mind makes her admirable. It seems like all three of these people experienced journeys to find happiness, or at least find out what the meaning of life was. I think that all of their approaches to life were positive, and something that I find really admirable. They stepped out of the ordinary and went after what they found most inspiring, and from what I know about all of them, it sounds like they all died a happy life. Because that is my ultimate goal–dying happy–I respect these people and look up to them. Not all their life decisions were the ‘best’ but who are we to judge? It hurts no one to follow your own path and live your own life, and it’s not selfish at all to live off the grid or spend your years walking across America. They inspire me to do things that scare me and do things that others might not do in order to find peace and be entirely fulfilled. I think that I’ll start to view the world from their perspectives a little more and try to care less about what others think of my lifestyle.
All three of the historic figures Thoreau, McCandless and Peace Pilgrim shared the belief that one should live a minimalistic life free from the distractions caused by material possessions. Especially McCandless and Peace Pilgrim who spent the majority of their time on the move had only what they could carry on their backs which amounted to almost nothing. Another thing they had in common was their relatively lonely lifestyles with McCandless being on the move, Peace Pilgrim on her cross-country journeys and Thoreau in his stay at the cabin. All these characteristics allowed them to remove most of the distractions from their lives so they had time to really think about life and what its meaning was to them. McCandless found meaning away from society in the beauty of the natural world while Peace Pilgrim wanted to inspire peace across the world through her amazing feats. I believe that the approaches of Thoreau, McCandless and Peace Pilgrim to life are commendable but too optimistic to be practical. Some people may say that they are far to naive but the only thing that matters in life is if you think yours has meaning. I would say that its probably true for all three and most certainly for McCandless and Peace Pilgrim that if you asked them if they were content with their lives they would say absolutely and without a doubt yes. I think everyone can learn that lives can only be measured by the person living them and if they find fulfillment in them then nothing else matters. From an outside perspective you may say they are crazy or naive but at the end of their lives they are going to pass knowing they found meaning in their life and they won’t care what anyone else thinks.
Thoreau, Christopher McCandless, and Peace Pilgrim all express the idea of simplicity. In the article, it reads that she never used money and that she wore the same clothes everyday, “blue pants and a blue tunic that held everything she owned: a pen, a comb, a toothbrush, and a map. That’s it.” I thought about McCandless when she said, “I own only what I wear and carry. I just walk until given shelter, fast until given food.” Everyone was worried that McCandless needed more gear and more food to survive, but both Peace and McCandless seem confident that they are going to be fine and they have everything that they need. I thought about Thoreau when she decided to walk in the woods to find a meaningful way of life. Thoreau lived in the woods to find the true meaning of life and to really get to know himself, a place to think and let the mind wander freely. Peace Pilgrim experienced the same thing when she said, “That night, I experienced the complete willingness, without any reservations whatsoever, to give my life to something beyond myself.” I think Thoreau, McCandless, and Peace’s way of life is obviously very different from how a lot of people live today. However, they are doing things that make them happy and their mindset is what keeps them going. Even though they seem stubborn and naive, I believe that it’s their choice of how they want to live their life and to do whatever makes them happy regardless of what other people think. Out of the three, Thoreau inspires me the most. I like his idea of just walking through the woods, with no one around and no cellphone or anything and just letting the mind wander. I remember hiking by myself one day with just my water bottle and never checking my phone, and it was very relaxing to just let my thoughts wander. After the hike, I felt more at peace and more happy.
Peace Pilgrim’s motive for her journey was to walk until there was peace in the world. Henry Thoreau’s motive for living a minimalistic life in nature was to show that one does not need things to distract themselves or have a fulfilling life. From what we know so far, Christopher McCandless seems to have been motivated to live his life without being tied down anywhere. They all had purposes for their journey – some more important than other – but it was what motivated them to make such drastic changes in their lives. All three of them lived a true minimalist lifestyle once they commenced their journeys. They did not seem to believe in “stuff” bringing you joy, so they dropped everything and went on their way.
I don’t think I could live such a life myself, but I am a strong believer in “if you put your mind to it, you can do it” so I would say that it is realistic for those who truly wanted to. For today’s society, I think that it is too naïve to be practical. We are so attached to our stuff – that we truly don’t need – yet we are basically enslaved to them.
Thoreau’s philosophy of living life through nature and not man-made things would be the most inspirational. Although I could never drop everything and isolate myself somewhere in the woods, it makes you think about what you truly need in life vs what you don’t. After reading his passage in class, I have noticed the amount of attachment I have towards useless objects in my life, yet if I got rid of them I would be just as fulfilled. I am going to take this inspiration with me to college and try not to waste my money and time on getting useless man-made objects and just enjoy what our earth has to offer.
Henry David Thoreau, Chris McCandless, and Peace Pilgrim all shared a strong connection to our environment in the hope to find a deeper meaning in life. Each of them recognized problems with our world and sought to escape the societal structure that caused them by turning to a new and simplistic way of life. Thoreau believed that material items and technology complicated our lives, so, much like McCandless and Peace Pilgrim, he took as little as possible with him and ventured into the woods. The biggest difference between the three of these nomads is how active they were in actually inciting change. McCandless showed his dislike for many aspects of our society, yet rather than actively trying to change them, he simply left it all behind in order to pursue his own kind of lifestyle. Peace Pilgrim had a more decisive cause and attempted to spread her beliefs, but again, she wasn’t getting to the root of the problem and actively trying to solve it. Thoreau seems to have been the most proactive and many of his beliefs and practices are still important in modern society. Not only was he dedicated to his search of purpose and meaning, he was also an abolitionist and conservationist. His writings and speeches had a significant impact on society’s views of these issues and his efforts to raise money allowed him to found the Walden Woods Project and save the land from development. McCandless’ approach to life was understandable yet his naivety and selfishness made it impractical and, for me at least, Peace Pilgrim’s lifestyle doesn’t seem practical or fulfilling either. However, I could find inspiration in Thoreau’s devotion to a multitude of different causes as well as his fascination with the environment and attempts to find meaning outside of our consumerist and capitalistic society.
Thoreau, Peace Pilgrim, and McCandless share an honorable vision–one of simplicity, mindfulness, and change for humanity’s sake. Their application of these principles to their lives varied vastly. The effect of their lifestyle on American culture was shaped by their personalities as well as the historical period in which they lived. Thoreau’s time at Walden pond was a more realistic approach to escaping modern American life. He was prepared and put thought into what his time at the pond would require. The work he put out throughout his lifetime continues to have an impact on American culture today. Peace Pilgrim was also incredibly committed to living strictly by her values and sharing her vision for global non-violence, in her own way Peace influenced the people she met on her cross-country trek. McCandless’s journey was a crossover between Thoreau and Peace’s, as he lived nomadically and shared his ideas with those he met until reaching Alaska. His focus was more internal, like Thoreau’s, as he kept a journal. McCandless convinced one other person, Franz, to embrace his lifestyle as well. Into the Wild ironically shaped his trip. Peace and Thoreau both shaped their own persona’s, McCandless’s image was publicized by a piece he didn’t write. All three of these visionaries had a short-term plan for living outside the restraints of American society and spreading their ideas, but Peace and McCandless failed to address the major cause of our social ills that is capitalism. Much of Thoreau’s work is notably anti-capitalist and includes methods for systemic reform, which inspires me. Although McCandless and Peace held similar beliefs, their execution and message were not as logical.
Peace Pilgrim, Thoreau, and Christopher McCandless were all intrigued with living a life of simplicity, free of worldly possessions and unnecessary stress. The lessons and values we can learn from their legacies are immense and today we are blessed with their unique stories and experiences about living life how it was meant to be lived. Piece Pilgrim spent 28 years trekking across America from coast to coast only slowing down to teach and guide people along her way, her story is inspiring, confusing, and definitely strange. She sought simplicity through dependence on others and faith in humanity to help her in her travels. This is unusual because we see a very different story with Chris McCandless and Thoreau who both found themselves through an escape from society and the worldly problems that bind us down. Another difference between Piece Pilgrim and Thoreau was the way they spread their message to people across the world; Piece Pilgram would travel and teach people about her principles while Thoreau gained an audience through his popular books which he wrote while he was in his cabin by Waldon Pond. One final thing I pondered about Peace’s and McCandless’s life was if either of their ideas were practical and understandable and to me, I think that although their intentions were coming from the right place the way they executed their ideas could’ve been more thought out. Thoreau, for example, had a very similar goal as McCandless and Peace but he knew his limits and he carried out his idea in a simple, realistic way that did not drastically alter his life in such an extreme way. If I find inspiration from any of these three I think my inspiration would come from Thoreau since his ideology makes sense to me and I enjoy living simply in nature as Thoreau did for so many years.
Peace Pilgrim does share similarities to Thoreau and McCandless, in that they wanted to lead basic, simple lives while seeking a meaningful life. The three of them went out into the natural world to find what they were searching for. They believed in being free and wanting peace in the world. They also felt that there was more to life than just making a living. Peace Pilgrim said in an interview that “money-making was easy but not satisfying.” This is similar to how McCandless was living off of his parents’ money, but he disapproved of their money usage. Going back to Young’s interview on her sister, she said that she and Peace were “taught to think for ourselves, not follow the sheep.” McCandless made the decision to leave his family behind because he thought they were making him become what they want him to be. Taking inspiration from Thoreau, he followed his own path and headed out into the wilderness. What sets Peace apart from McCandless is that she did not leave family behind.
Living a simple, minimalistic life is unusual in a sense that makes it seem unrealistic. This lifestyle is not normalized, and so people would think that living this way will be difficult. Out of the three, Peace Pilgrim would be the most likely to offer inspiration. She says that there is good in everybody, and believes everyone should live in peace and happiness. I might put this inspiration in my life by seeing the good in every person and making people happy in any way possible.