175 Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes (Wise)

Discover the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” with these 175 quotes that inspire independence and personal growth.

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Best Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes
The real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
The real and lasting victories are those of peace and not of war.
Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.Pin
Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.Pin
He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.
People only see what they are prepared to see. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
People only see what they are prepared to see.
The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.Pin
The great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Dont be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.Pin
No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no person can help another without helping themselves.Pin
One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no person can help another without helping themselves.
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Friendship like the immortality of the soul is too good to be believed.Pin
Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed.
Always do what you are afraid to do. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Always do what you are afraid to do.
Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.Pin
Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.
People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.
Little minds have little worries big minds have no time for worries.Pin
Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.
You cannot do a kindness too soon for you never know how soon it will be too late. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Character is higher than intellect… A great soul will be strong to live as well as strong to think.Pin
Character is higher than intellect… A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.
You will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
You will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.
For every minute you remain angry you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.Pin
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.Pin
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
For every minute you remain angry you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.Pin
Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man but he is brave five minutes longer. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
He is rich who owns the day and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.Pin
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.
No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.Pin
No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.
You become what you think about all day long. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
You become what you think about all day long.
Concentration is the secret of strength in politics in war in trade in short in all management of human affairs.Pin
Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short in all management of human affairs.
It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful to be honorable to be compassionate to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.Pin
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

Short Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes

All is riddle and the key to a riddle is another riddle.Pin
All is riddle and the key to a riddle is another riddle. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
The ancestor of every action is a thought.Pin
The ancestor of every action is a thought.
What you are comes to you. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
What you are comes to you.
The reward of a thing well done is having done it.Pin
The reward of a thing well done is having done it.
Men love to wonder that is the seed of science. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Men love to wonder; that is the seed of science.
Every artist was first an amateur.Pin
Every artist was first an amateur.
Ah so you shall be sure to be misunderstood. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.
Make yourself necessary to somebody.Pin
Make yourself necessary to somebody.
Good men must not obey the laws too well. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Good men must not obey the laws too well.
Beauty without expression is boring.Pin
Beauty without expression is boring.
To be great is to be misunderstood. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
To be great is to be misunderstood.
All mankind love a lover.Pin
All mankind love a lover.
Be silly. Be honest. Be kind. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.
Every man I meet is in some way my superior.Pin
Every man I meet is in some way my superior.
A great man is always willing to be little. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
A great man is always willing to be little.
Knowledge is the antidote to fear.Pin
Knowledge is the antidote to fear.
How much of human life is lost in waiting. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
How much of human life is lost in waiting.
The older you get the older you want to get.Pin
The older you get, the older you want to get.
We aim above the mark to hit the mark. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
We aim above the mark to hit the mark.
Imagination is a very high sort of seeing.Pin
Imagination is a very high sort of seeing.
There is a tendency for things to right themselves. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
There is a tendency for things to right themselves.
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.Pin
Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.
Hitch your wagon to a star. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Hitch your wagon to a star.
There is creative reading as well as creative writing.Pin
There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.
As we grow old the beauty steals inward.Pin
As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.
Its the not the Destination It’s the journey. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
It’s not the Destination, It’s the journey.
Life is a journey not a destination.Pin
Life is a journey, not a destination.
It is not the length of life but the depth. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
It is not the length of life, but the depth.
Envy is ignorance.Pin
Envy is ignorance.
A good indignation brings out all ones powers. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.
The first wealth is health.Pin
The first wealth is health.
In skating over thin ice our safety is speed. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
In skating over thin ice, our safety is speed.

Famous Thoughts from Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.Pin
Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes
My life is not an apology but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
My life is not an apology but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.
Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.Pin
Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Peace cannot be achieved through violence it can only be attained through understanding. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.Pin
A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
Greatness is a property for which no man can receive credit too soon it must be possessed long before it is acknowledged. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Greatness is a property for which no man can receive credit too soon; it must be possessed long before it is acknowledged.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.Pin
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful for beauty is Gods handwriting. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.
Once you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen.Pin
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
It is one of the blessings of old friends is that you can afford to be stupid with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
It is one of the blessings of old friends is that you can afford to be stupid with them.
To believe your own thought to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men that is genius.Pin
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men that is genius.
When friendships are real they are not glass threads or frost work but the solidest things we can know. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest things we can know.
Do not go where the path may lead go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.Pin
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.
Beauty is an outward gift which is seldom despised except by those to whom it is refused.Pin
Beauty is an outward gift, which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it is refused.
The only right is what is after my constitution the only wrong is what is against it. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
The only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong is what is against it.
Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the way of self reliance: it is infirmity of will.Pin
Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the way of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired.
Enthusiasm is the mother of effort and without it nothing great was ever achieved. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
The basis of good manners is self reliance. Necessity is the law of all who are not self possessed.Pin
The basis of good manners is self-reliance. Necessity is the law of all who are not self-possessed.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising up every time we fail. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.Pin
No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong is what is against it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes About Self

Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin

Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes
Insist on yourself never imitate.Pin
Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can offer with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self helping man. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.
The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self helping man. For him all doors are flung wide.Pin
The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man. For him all doors are flung wide.
Him all tongues greet all honors crown all eyes follow with desire. Our love goes out to him and embraces him because he did not need it. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire. Our love goes out to him and embraces him because he did not need it.
I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you or you. If you can love me for what I am we shall be the happier. If you cannot I will still seek to deserve that you should.Pin
I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should.
Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.
A man’s years should not be counted until he has something else to count.Pin
A man’s years should not be counted until he has something else to count.
A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
Self reliance the height and perfection of man is reliance on God.Pin
Self reliance, the height and perfection of man, is reliance on God.
It is easy to live for others everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.
Every man has his own courage and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.Pin
Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.
Self trust is the first secret of success. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Self-trust is the first secret of success.
I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever only rejoices me and the heart appointsPin
I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever only rejoices me, and the heart appoints.
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Be yourself no base imitator of another but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another.Pin
Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another.
But do your work and I shall know you. Do your work and you shall reinforce yourself. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance QuotesPin
But do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.
A mans growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.Pin
A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.
Act singly and what you have already done singly will justify you now. Greatness appeals to the future.Pin
Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now. Greatness appeals to the future.
Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants and to serve them ones self?Pin
Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?

Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes (Wisdom)

For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must know how to estimate a sour face. Pin

For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure. And therefore a man must know how to estimate a sour face. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.Pin
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.
We must be our own before we can be another’s.Pin
We must be our own before we can be another’s.
People that seem so glorious are all show underneath they are like everyone else.Pin
People that seem so glorious are all show; underneath, they are like everyone else.
As soon as there is life there is danger.Pin
As soon as there is life, there is danger.
Economy does not consist in saving the coal but in using the time while it burns.Pin
Economy does not consist in saving the coal, but in using the time while it burns.
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.Pin
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.Pin
Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.
Man is timid and apologetic he is no longer upright he dares not say ‘I think’ ‘I am’ but quotes some saint or sage.Pin
Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage.
The only reward of virtue is virtue the only way to have a friend is to be one.Pin
The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.
People destined to meet will do so apparently by chance at precisely the right moment.Pin
People destined to meet will do so, apparently by chance, at precisely the right moment.
Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.Pin
Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.
With the past I have nothing to do nor with the future. I live now.Pin
With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.
God enters by a private door into every individual.Pin
God enters by a private door into every individual.
This time like all times is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.Pin
This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.Pin
Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.
Discontent is the want of self reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities if you can thereby help the sufferer if not attend your own work and already the evil begins to be repaired.Pin
Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired.
We are always getting ready to live but never living.Pin
We are always getting ready to live but never living.
Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.Pin
Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.
Do the things at which you are great not what you were never made for.Pin
Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.
And so the reliance on Property including the reliance on governments which protect it is the want of self reliance.Pin
And so the reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.
Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence.Pin
Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence.
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.Pin
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best.Pin
A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best.
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.Pin
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood and Socrates and Jesus and Luther and Copernicus and Galileo and Newton and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh..Pin
Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh..
A man is usually more careful of his money than he his is principles.Pin
A man is usually more careful of his money than he his is principles.
Doing well is the result of doing good. Thats what capitalism is all about.Pin
Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about.
The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.Pin
The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.
Happy will the house be in which the relationships are formed from character.Pin
Happy will the house be in which the relationships are formed from character.
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow.Pin
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learned would not miss.Pin
Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learned would not miss.
Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul unbelief in denying them.Pin
Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.
The desire for gold is not gold. It is for the means for freedom and benefit.Pin
The desire for gold is not gold. It is for the means for freedom and benefit.
Tomorrow is a new day begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.Pin
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.Pin
The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.
I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names to large societies and dead institutions.Pin
I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.
If we encounter a man of rare intellect we should ask him what books he reads.Pin
If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.

Deep Words from Ralph Waldo Emerson

He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present above time. Pin
He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time. Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance Quotes
All the good of nature is the soul’s and may be had if paid for in nature’s lawful coin that is by labor which the heart and the head allow.Pin
All the good of nature is the soul’s, and may be had, if paid for in nature’s lawful coin, that is, by labor which the heart and the head allow.
As men’s prayers are a disease of the will so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.Pin
As men’s prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.
A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.Pin
A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful we must carry it with us or we find it not.Pin
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.
Manners require time and nothing is more vulgar than haste.Pin
Manners require time and nothing is more vulgar than haste.
People wish to be settled only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.Pin
People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
All is riddle and the key to a riddle is another riddle.Pin
All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.
We are rich through only what we give and poor only through what we refuse.Pin
We are rich through only what we give and poor only through what we refuse.
Misunderstood! It is a right fools word. Is it so bad then to be misunderstood?Pin
Misunderstood! It is a right fool’s word. Is it so bad then to be misunderstood?
Before a leaf bud has burst its whole life acts in the full blown flower there is no more in the leafless root there is no less.Pin
Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less.
Nothing is more simple than greatness indeed to be simple is to be great. Ralph Waldo EmersonPin
Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great. Ralph Waldo Emerson
An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.Pin
An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.
If we live truly we shall see truly. It is as easy for the strong man to be strong as it is for the weak to be weak.Pin
If we live truly, we shall see truly. It is as easy for the strong man to be strong, as it is for the weak to be weak.
Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.Pin
Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.
It is easy to live for others everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.Pin
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.Pin
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
He walks abreast with his days and feels no shame in not studying a profession for he does not postpone his life but lives already. He has not one chance but a hundred chances.Pin
He walks abreast with his days and feels no shame in not ‘studying a profession’, for he does not postpone his life, but lives already. He has not one chance, but a hundred chances.
The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude and into freedom.Pin
The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude and into freedom.
I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten even so they have made me.Pin
I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.
The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.Pin
The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.
Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this.Pin
Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this.
I do not wish more external goods neither possessions nor honors nor powers nor persons. The gain is apparent the tax is certain.Pin
I do not wish more external goods–neither possessions, nor honors, nor powers, nor persons. The gain is apparent; the tax is certain.
All science has one aim namely to find a theory of nature.Pin
All science has one aim, namely, to find a theory of nature.
There are no fixtures in nature. The universe is fluid and volatile. Permanence is but a word of degrees.Pin
There are no fixtures in nature. The universe is fluid and volatile. Permanence is but a word of degrees.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divine.Pin
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divine.
The years teach much which the days never know.Pin
The years teach much which the days never know.
The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired so long as we can see far enough.Pin
The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Voice of Transcendentalism

Ralph Waldo Emerson, born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts, was an American philosopher, essayist, and poet who became the leading figure of the Transcendentalist movement in the 19th century. His groundbreaking ideas on self-reliance, individualism, and the divinity of nature had a profound impact on American literature and philosophical thought.

Emerson’s intellectual journey began at Harvard Divinity School, where he studied to become a minister. However, he soon developed doubts about the traditional doctrines of Christianity and embraced a more personal and intuitive approach to spirituality. This shift in his thinking laid the foundation for his later philosophical ideas.

In 1836, Emerson published his first major work, “Nature,” which articulated his belief in the inherent goodness of nature and the interconnectedness of all things. He argued that individuals should seek direct experience with the natural world to gain spiritual insight and self-understanding. This work marked the beginning of the Transcendentalist movement and established Emerson as its leading spokesman.

Emerson’s subsequent essays, including “Self-Reliance,” “The Over-Soul,” and “The Poet,” expanded on his core ideas. He emphasized the importance of trusting one’s own instincts and intuition, rather than conforming to societal expectations. He encouraged individuals to embrace their unique voices and to cultivate their own inner wisdom. Emerson’s philosophy of self-reliance became a cornerstone of American individualism and influenced generations of thinkers and writers.

Beyond his philosophical writings, Emerson was a gifted poet. His poetry reflected his transcendentalist beliefs and explored themes of nature, spirituality, and the human soul. Some of his notable works include “Concord Hymn,” “The Rhodora,” and “Nature.” Emerson’s poetic style was characterized by its lyrical beauty, introspection, and philosophical depth.

Emerson’s ideas gained prominence through his public lectures, where he captivated audiences with his eloquence and passion. His lectures covered a wide range of topics, including literature, history, and philosophy. His ability to inspire and challenge his listeners made him a highly respected figure in intellectual circles.

Throughout his life, Emerson championed causes such as abolitionism and women’s rights. He believed in the inherent worth and equality of all individuals and spoke out against injustice and oppression. His progressive views on social issues further solidified his status as a visionary thinker.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s contributions to American literature and philosophy cannot be overstated. His writings continue to inspire readers to explore their own spiritual and intellectual journeys, to question conventional wisdom, and to seek harmony with the natural world. Emerson’s legacy as the voice of Transcendentalism remains an enduring testament to the power of individual thought and the pursuit of truth.

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