Henry David ThoreauHenry David Thoreau, (1817-1862) American author, poet, philosopher, polymath, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and transcendentalist

Famous Henry David Thoreau Quote

“If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.”

Henry David ThoreauHenry David Thoreau
~ Henry David Thoreau


Ratings and Comments


E Archer, NYC

LOL! How true.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

He wrote a book (came at us with a book) was he trying to do us good or evil. He is being funny and cute here but not very thoughtful or true.

Me Again
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Me Again    8/26/08

Oh yeah. That makes a hell of alot of sense.

Ken, Milford Pa.

I know a story about a man who worked with his best friend at an auto repair shop. One guy's shirt had a small fire on it when his cigarette ash lit some grease. The other guy grabbed what he thought was a bucket of water and threw it on him. Turned out to be gasoline. All Thoreau is saying is that the best intention doesn't always secure the best results. Now add the zeal of someone deciding that they know better, but not exercizing caution, and look out.

jim k, austin

This is especially true if he says ,"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you".

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Ken how did the guy in the shirt make out in the end.

Mike, Norwalk

Yep, LOL. I'm with jim on this one.

Ken, Milford Pa

He died.

warren, olathe

cute and true.

RKA, Wasilla, AK

If you are learning how to ride a horse, its inevitable that you will fall. The act of falling does not imply that you stay put on the ground until someone comes and helps you get up. The act of falling implies that you fall, you get up and try to ride the horse again and again and again until you master the art of horse riding. When I read this quote it makes me feel that I ought to be able to do things on my own and if someone comes to help me out, all I become is lethargic and lazy, and ultimately I will to that helper. The ultimate goal of populist is exactly the same. So one has to be careful!

RobertSRQ
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  • Reply
RobertSRQ    8/26/08

Another great one! I also run for my life when they preempt a deal by saying, "I'm a Christian."

Wondering, Smallville

What is the alternative? No one cares about you? Or they have the obvious intent of hurting you?

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

When people do good and always want credit it scares the hell out of me. Our local VFW put a patriotic display in the local High School but had to make sure it was clearly marked Gift of the VFW. A local merchant advertises on TV preaching the gospel but makes sure his businees gets credit and is well displayed in the ad. Scary to me.

warren, olathe

Sad that some do not get the obvious thought behind this great quote.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Thoreau, one of my favorites.

Anonymous
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    Anonymous    8/28/08

    Do philosophers right books in order to do us good, if so should we run from them and their books.

    Sunny T, Richmond

    Beware the helpful people - there are always strings attached!

    Allen Weingarten, Monroe Township, NJ

    My view of Thoreau is that one does good, not by trying to benefit another, but by following his own drummer. He interacts with others by a give-and-take that is mutually beneficial, rather than by altruism.

    Allen Weingarten, Monroe Township, NJ

    Why couldn't an altruist help another? Surely feeding a hungry man is beneficial, as is protecting him from harm. Yet what is fundamental is that which an individual chooses for himself. So when another interferes, he will generally do harm. The altruist can provide worthwhile aid and direction, if another seeks it. Yet that is best done by mutual advantage.

    jim k, Austin

    Sorry that "Me Again"didn't get the irony and humor in this quote.

    cal, lewisville, tx

    Me Again, the government comes to us to help us, but it will cost us one hell of a lot more than had they just left us alone.

    Ronw13, Oregon

    The post WWII world order, American leadership and the helping hand. Religious ignorance seeking a world of socialistic democracies living at peace, 2nd phase, has fallen flat on its face, hollowing out the backbone of America. Turning away from the Founding principles of true liberty and freedom of the individual sovereign ( unprivileged ), wishing to institute the "welfare state" paternalistic good, whether one wants help or not. Seeing the government/banksters have taken the bed out from under where we sleep, Restoration of a sort to restore prosperity with opportunity has revealed that there was a day when citizens were at Liberty, yet still so far away and confined from view. WWG1WGA to MAGA to KAG  

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