It’s Your Path.

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As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.

To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.

To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

~Unknown

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5 thoughts on “It’s Your Path.

  1. Hi, Natali. The words beneath your photograph sent me on a now-familiar sort of quest. I sent the following e-mail to Lewis Hyde, who edited a volume of Thoreau’s essays:

    “This morning I came across a website with a quotation attributed to Thoreau:

    “‘As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.’

    “That sounds Thoreau-ish, so I was curious to know which work it’s from. I did a Google search and turned up dozens of repetitions of the quotation, but not a single website gave any further attribution. Next, because printed works are usually more reliable than Internet-only sources, I searched books.google.com, but still all I found was nothing more than Thoreau’s name. When I’ve run into this situation in the past—repeatedly only a person’s name but no specific work—the quotation has turned out to be bogus.

    “I’m writing to you now in the hope that as an editor of Thoreau’s essays you have resources that indicate the source of the quotation, assuming it really is by Thoreau. If you have access to a database of all of Thoreau’s known writings, you may also be able to confirm that the would-be quotation isn’t by Thoreau….”

    Here’s the response I got from Lewis Hyde:

    “The quotation is not from Thoreau, despite all claims.

    “The 1906 complete Thoreau is now digital. If you do an advanced book search on Google — here:

    http://www.google.ca/advanced_book_search

    “– and limit the years to 1904 – 1908 (thus catching the 1906 complete Thoreau, but nothing else), you’ll find no hits for the quote in question.”

    So my suspicion is confirmed, and the words are apparently not by Thoreau.

    • Wow! I went and searched and nothing came up. Before narrowing it down, a book appeared that had the quote and it was attributed to Thoreau but not once I narrowed it down. Thank you so much for sharing you experience and knowledge with me. I pride myself on learning new things every-single-day, and today, was certainly one of those days.
      I, myself am very much like you, drive by my curiosity. I am presently on a long, long road that was paved by my curiosity. I am hunting for information about a sculptor from Va. Now, over a year later, I am still hunting for information, information that is not available online, I want something more… So I understand how you feel about that quote. I will change it and make it ~unknown.
      Thank you Steve for your knowledge and curiosity 🙂

      • Thanks for changing the attribution to “Unknown.” In the past when I’ve alerted people to unsubstantiated attributions on their Internet pages a few have been conscientious enough to change the credit to “Unknown” or “Anonymous,” but many didn’t care and stuck with the wrong credit.

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