Thoreau is a very ambitious individual that had great influence on society relating to his views on abolishing slavery. These views originate from his religious and moral values. He didn’t believe it was fair to hold slaves. He exemplifies his beliefs in “Resistance to Civil Government” and writes that government does not keep people free, specifically relating to the slave-movement. (Levine, et all. P. 1858). In his writings, Thoreau challenges individuals in many ways, one of which to “let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.” (Levine 1858). While several of his statements are somewhat satirical in nature, meant to provoke thought amongst the citizens of establishing America, this challenge can bear truth even in today’s society.
The world is filled with individuals that make their opinions known readily and often consistently. Every day often brings new gripes, struggles, or outright hatred. Imagine if people took the word from Thoreau seriously, and truly considered what would happen within the governmental system that could allow individuals to provide their respect, regardless of the cost. As American citizens we are challenged to write those that represent us in office, governors, senators, congressmen ‘” in hopes that our views and opinions will be treated with respect and shared in public forum for potential change in government. Despite this challenge, how many of us step up, and really work at creating a government that we can be satisfied with?
Yes, our right is to speak freely about our government, and this is one of the truths that makes our government so free. However, it would definitely create a different society if we all really answered Thoreau’s challenge and took our respect for the government seriously. He poses this challenge to really make us create within our minds a perfect system of government that we can be proud of and would respect. In dreaming about this system, Thoreau’s hope is that people will be called to act upon their dream. As Christians, the word of God tells us, “1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” Titus 3:1-2 (NIV Bible). Continuing to slander those that are choosing to represent the nation with ill talk is not being peaceable and considerate, or showing humility towards men.
The true problem to following this challenge is that people do not really want a government that they can respect. They actually like having something to complain about and they would never imagine an opportune time where they would fit into their schedules letter writing or making phone calls to better the government, since they are complacent in their democratic idleness. This is the exact problem Thoreau had when trying to reach individuals that had slaves, specifically Christians. Their moral dilemma did not exceed the gain that they were receiving by owning and utilizing slaves.
Levine, Robert et all. The Northern Anthology of American Literature. New York. 2007. Print
Holy Bible. New International Version. Michigan. 2005. Print.