One connection I have found between the work of Thoreau and Emerson is the presence of god and man’s supposed purpose to “glorify God and enjoy him forever”. They also both seem to support simplicity, whether it be simplicity in leaving behind things to connect with nature, or simplicity in every aspect in life.
What I got out of reading “Where I Lived and What I live for” is that he wants to live life to its fullest possible potential. In order to do this he goes from farm to farm seeing what they have to offer and what he can improve upon, but keeps his seeds with him and doesn’t settle down. He eventually goes to the woods to make sure he gets everything out of life, whatever that may be. He also emphasizes the importance of simplicity and living a more simple life in any aspect you can. He uses the Germans as an example of people who live too complicatedly with too much constant change that even they cannot keep up with and are confused about it. Living simply leads to a better life and “elevation of purpose”.
The conclusion spreads a message to love what you have no matter how little and you will be able to experience some happiness in it. As long as you find contemptness in opening your eyes rather than wanting more or obtaining things through the wrong means, you will widen your view and keep your thoughts moving. Our character, no matter how fortunate you are, is what determines what you get out of life.
Benefits would be simplifying your life, and connecting with the world in a new way. I would miss friends, music, joy. Nature is a beautiful thing that should be appreciated more than it is, but I am accustomed to today’s commodities and I’m okay with not “getting everything out of life” if it means I can see people.
I think a modern reader should take away that they should live for what they believe in or want to achieve and modern standards of living may not fit their ideals. Honestly they should just put thought into what the world has to offer and the purpose of things, it’s always good to think about and explore viewpoints different than your own.