Ideas of Giving
Thoreau may be wealthy man from Concord, but his philanthropic behaviors may surprise. He is very conservative when it come to giving out help because he believes that help should be given if survival of a person is in question. Thoreau believes “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve.”~Henry David Thoreau, Walden. People develop a sense of false satisfaction when they see themselves as helpful, because in reality people give money to problem that will constantly recur. This is what Thoreau means by constantly hacking at the arms of evil. Imagine a sturdy tree that has taken root in the ground. This tree represents poverty and the hacking of branches grows back each year so in the end no matter how much insensible giving happened. the problem still exists.
Thoreau thinks he should not give help if help has never come to him. He seems to be very introverted and not exited about an equal environment. He states the he "...never heard of a philanthropic meeting in which it was sincerely proposed to do any good to me, or the like of me.”~Henry David Thoreau, Walden. This statements sounds very selfish because he is very wealthy man who never had to do true hard work to earn his wealth. In one of his passages Thoreau describes himself taking advantage of a poor Irish family by buying there house for next to nothing and kicking them out the next day. In this reading there is no sense of guilt or remorse of him, a wealthy man, practically stealing another mans house. When Thoreau almost laments about never receiving help he reminds us that he is not one to hand out refuge willy-nilly. This type of almost contradictory statements make one think that Thoreau was a self absorbed man who thought of himself too highly.
Good-will done to get praise or attention creates no greater foul oder. People should expect to do help and never be noticed because giving help should be truthful and honest, not to increase public relations like many companies or public figure heads. Thoreau is spot on when he says that “There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.” because he knows that many wealthy men of his time got a good representation by giving to the poor when the did it to only make them seem like good honest people. Society these days seem to have accepted companies that give as companies that care, where even kinds can see these weak deceptions of trickery. It reeks of ignorance and weakness to go around demonstrating how good one self or companies because they gave to the unfortunate. People should give help because they care and also expect nothing to amount from it.