In Walden showing individualism is expressed in a positive way and shown that it is a choice. "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." This shows how being different is a choice for the better and not totally following the view of society actually heightens your way of life. The symbolism of this quote means that if someone doesn't follow the crowd, let him be an individual, no matter how outlandish it is. This quote relates with the following written by Emily Dickinson, "How happy is the little stone that rambles in the world alone. And doesn't care about careers and exigencies never fears. Whose coat of elemental brown a passing of the universe put on and independent as the sun associates or glows alone fulfilling absolute decree in casual simplicity."
The quote also shows how being solitary can make ones life more enjoyable. Describing how the stone is happy shows how being solitary and individual is rewarding and to not fall under the popular look or actions actually makes your life more simple and content. Many choose not to "follow the crowd" so that their life is less complicated and more real. Walden himself is very solitary and somehow resembles the stone in Emily Dickinson's poem. The stone is solitary without worrying about the way society views him just as in Walden. Overall being individual is more rewarding and you get more out of your life or was Thoreau would say, "a life worth living"