Friday, August 22, 2008

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

I am writing an essay on two of Ralph Waldo Emerson's works. I have found some quotes that I like.

-"What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think."

side note: As a Christian I would add to this saying that all that matters to me is what Christ thinks. So many times it is easy to fall into the trap of worrying about what others think or trying to figure out why someone did something. All I need to focus on is what I need to do and whether or not it is bringing glory to God and what He thinks. If I can just apply this to my life everyday things would be so much easier.

-"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."

-"To be great is to be misunderstood."

-"Insist on yourself. Never imitate."

side note: Emerson writes a lot about how in our education we imitate a lot and rely on the past, so that is where this quote comes from. It's such a simple quote and it got me thinking about what do I imitate and what should I be imitating and it kept bringing me back to God. I am made in His image and need to imitate Him as much as possible in my everyday life.

-"They (man) measure their esteem of each other, by what each has, and not by what each is."

side note: In our society so often we talk about what we own, what kind of job we have, what kind of car we drive, where we took our latest vacation, and how educated we are. It is easy to focus on what we have and this quote was a great reminder to me that I need to be focusing on what a person is rather than what they have. I have never been a very materialistic person, but it was still a great reminder to me.

All of these quotes were taken from the essay Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hope you enjoyed them.

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