What are Thoreau's essential ideas?

How would you evaluate his path to independence? Is it relevant to today?

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Thoreau's main idea was to abandon the maddening crowd. He wanted to radically simplify his life unencumbered by materialism and the endless pursuit of wealth. Thoreau wanted to live deliberately sucking the "marrow" out of every day. I often think of Thoreau and Walden when life gets messy. Opting out of the madness of the material world is tempting. Thoreau, however, didn't have a family to take care of. He didn't belong to a community that children need to blossom. Also, not relying or being relied on by other people kind of defeats the purpose of life. Still, his main idea about simplifying one's life should be considered by everyone today.