When Henry David Thoreau was about 30 years old (and this happened CA 1850), he lived a few years in the woods and in his own words:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
One of the urgent needs of our society, as noticed by Thoreau, is to uplift the standard of Reading done, if at all, by our fellow man. He needs to grow up from the ‘Little Reading’ of newspaper and the one holy Book and learn from the wisdom of the world. So, Thoreau advocates the need to the village councils to save money on unnecessary pursuits (like a big council hall) and bring in some wise mind for a few months to tell the folks about the really important thinks.
He goes on this: “That is the uncommon school we want. Instead of noblemen, let us have noble villages of men. If it is necessary, omit one bridge over the river, go round a little there, and throw one arch at least over the darker gulf of ignorance which surrounds us.”
But what has happened in the meanwhile is for all of us to see. Roads, bridges, and unnecessary flyovers are being built…I have one near my house 😦 when the local folk tell me that an underpass would have served us better.
So the wisdom, as Thoreau says, is all around us, but many of us don’t even want to look for it as they get and “men have become the tools of their tools.”