Thoreau CD

I somewhat agree with “that government is best which governs least” because I can see that government does tend to get in the way at times but I don’t really think that America is ready for that. This is a very ideological way of thinking. The United States has very differing ideas among its people of what is best for the country. While the government takes a long time to agree on things or a lot of times just doesn’t end up doing much about whatever issue is going on, we need it to keep order. Having a specific way of dealing with our problems leaves less room for contention over what to do. Until we can all agree to be civilized and use compromise to govern ourselves, we need the buffer which is our government the way it is.

I think a government that listens to everyone and works towards equality and a fair chance for everyone in the country to be successful is one that would command my respect. Not one that holds secrets from its people or does anything for self-gain. No government is perfect (people are not perfect) and because of that, a good government must be able to change and be flexible. It also must be able to kick corrupt people out and not support corruption.

The role of civil disobedience today can be seen in any of the peaceful protests that we have such as the March for or Lives in Washington after the Parkland school shooting. Its role is basically a way for any citizen in America to peacefully protest what they may feel is unfair or unjust about their government. Civil Disobedience’s influence is very important even today because it says that we should express our feelings about government because we are the ones who created the government in the first place and many times we allow it to get in our way even though it is our government and it is there for us. While peaceful protest can take a long time to make a difference it has been very effective and still is today.


Thoreau and Emerson both consider nature very important to humankind. They both seem to think that we should be part of nature and not choose to disturb it but rather enjoy it in its state and spend time in it. They also seem to think that we can learn quite a lot from nature if we look at it simplistically and at a level in which we are equal to it. Also, no matter what circumstance you live in you must accept it and live life to the fullest if you want to be successful.

The main idea of the first portion of Thoreau’s attempt is that we should try to live as simply as possible because in reality all of our man-made subjects and technology are just a distraction to a higher level of thinking and understanding of the world around us.

The main idea of the conclusion of Thoreau’s attempt is that if we persevere through our lives with confidence, no matter what circumstances we may be in, we will find success.  Society tends to hold us back but we must learn to accomplish our dreams at our own pace and think for ourselves.

Everything around us that we focus on, social media, technology, our jobs, educations, distract us from being ourselves and becoming one with everything around us. We could progress so much farther in our lives if we could not care what others think and become more connected and on the same plan as the natural world. We should not let society tell us what to think but rather think for ourselves. No matter what walk of life we come from we can find some level of contentment and become successful.

This advice is important to us today because we tend to get very caught up in things that don’t matter in our day to day lives. Especially for high schoolers because it matters very much to many of us that we are excepted by everyone which means conforming to what everyone else is doing. Learning to think for ourselves and excepting our weird side can be hard to do with so much pressure to wear the right clothes and have the perfect social media account. Our phones also constantly distract us from what is truly important in our life. The sooner we can work on changing these things, the better.


My perspective on argument has definitely changed a lot. While I have done debates in the past, this was by far the most formal that I have ever prepared for.

I argue with people a good amount in my day to day life and honestly most of those arguments end with no definite winner. I have never really put much thought into this until we began talking about arguments in class the way that we did. I have realized that a lot of my arguments include a good amount of throwing insults back and forth. They are usually about who is right about something or why my parents should let me go hang out with my friends. When my parents argue with me they generally like to point out that I should just listen to them because they are my parents and don’t give actual reasons on why they are right. With my peers (and myself) it tends to be a battle of who can outwit the other person or who made the best choice in the situation that we are discussing. In general most of the arguments I am in don’t have much thought put behind them. Since arguments tend to come out of anger they are generally spur of the moment sort of things and both parties don’t have time to prepare good points or a valid argument.

Developing a valid argument takes a lot of research and analysis. I guess with day to day arguments if you wanted to make one formal you would have to take time to think about what happened for it to occur in the first place to decide whether it is even worth arguing about. I think having this unit has made me realize that a good argument takes time and careful thought. Most of the arguments in my life aren’t really worth the energy put into them because neither side is really well equipt for what is being thrown at them.

For me, the research aspect of writing my argument wasn’t very hard. I actually somewhat enjoyed reading the articles and seeing what information was out there about my subject (even though the drinking age in America is not all that riveting of a topic). Creating a persuasive speech was harder. Parts of it were easy but at times I felt like I ran out of things to say other than stressing my points. Making them attractive and interesting to the audience is hard and it probably would have been even harder if I had to actually debate.