My Aunt Maria asked me to read the life of Dr. Chalmers,I laughed out loud when I read this quote. It is a rare person who can stand and face the familial expectations, cultural norms, and (especially in today's age) the media's pitch. But there is no other way to find your authentic self. And very few others really have that as a goal for you. They want conformity. They have roles to be filled. They need cogs to be well greased.
which, however, I did not promise to do.
Yesterday, Sunday, she was heard through the partition
shouting to my Aunt Jane, who is deaf, "Think of it!
He stood half an hour today to hear the frogs croak,
and he wouldn't read the life of Chalmers."
-- from Thoreau's Journal (March 28, 1853)
Do you hear or feel or sense that inner voice? It doesn't care about what others expect. It wants you to want to begin the journey. To search for the woodland trail blazed years ago, but now overgrown by the intertwined vines of rules and expectations, and the thorny brambles of indoctrination and conformity.
And if you think you might see it -- notice some signposts from a deeply covered trail -- then resolve yourself to clear the path. First and foremost for yourself, and then as a service to others that may wish to follow.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
-- Thoreau, from the "Conclusion" to Walden