So I thought I might turn to a European, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, you know, the solitary walker - for a bit of reassurance. This is the man who said, “Never did I think so much, exist so much, be myself so much as in the journeys I have made alone and on foot. Walking has something about it which animates and enlivens my ideas. I can hardly think while I am still; my body must be in motion to move my mind."
All of which sounds right on the money. But reassurance is not to be found. Look at what Rousseau said in The Social Contract, “The people of England regards itself as free; but it is grossly mistaken; it is free only during the election of members of parliament. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes it, and it is nothing.”