How Much Land Does A Man Need?

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It’s a short story by Leo Tolstoy about a poor man who wanted to break free from poverty. He worked extremely hard as a farmer, saved and borrowed to buy land and grow his business. And after not so long he broke free from poverty but had trouble figuring out when to slow down. He was constantly acquiring more land, and then a great opportunity came his way. There was town he could get as much land as he could walk round in a day – dawn to dusk – for a very cheap price. He sold all he had and moved to that town and paid the fixed amount to acquire as much land as he could circle in a day. And that was what brought about the question of how much land does a man need. He thought he needed as much land as he could get and decided to go for the max he could walk round in a day. He began his land acquisition walk at dawn and began walking in one direction till past noon. Then he walked East, then South and finally ran West to get back to his starting point before the sun completely set. He made it to his starting point just seconds before the sun sank, but collapsed and died out of exhaustion. He achieved his goal of acquiring as much land as he could get. But when his servant buried him all he used was just 2 feet by 6 feet. And was just how much landed he needed.


I think it’s not a good story. I strongly believe we should make the most of whatever opportunity we get. Nevertheless, I can’t argue against the morale of the story. What we really need is never a lot. And most men die from the activities they engage in to become as wealthy as possible. They, like that poor man, die trying to acquire as much land as they could get.

How much land does a man need?

I don’t know and I don’t think it’s 2 feet by 6 feet. But I believe that since we all run the risk of being killed by the very activity we spend the greater part of our lives on – work – we should at least pick a job that we enjoy.

And if you’re lucky to know just how much land you need, please try not to circle beyond that.



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