Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled "The American Scholar" in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".

Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.

Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for humankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic: "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul."

His essays remain among the linchpins of American thinking,[citation needed] and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that have followed him. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man." Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of fellow Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. (Wikipedia)

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Simple Reminders by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Amazing Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (0)

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (41)

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. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-135)

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (24)

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (16)

Always do what you are afraid to do. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (73)

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (22)

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (48)

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (63)

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. To be great is to be misunderstood. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-106)

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. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-8)

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-123)

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (54)

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (29)

It is not the length of life, but the depth. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (65)

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (37)

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (14)

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. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-86)

I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (6)

The earth laughs in flowers. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (81)

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (35)

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. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-34)

Life is a journey, not a destination. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (72)

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (43)

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (58)

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (42)

Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (48)

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. ~Emerson (9)

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-89)

Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. ~Emerson (4)

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (26)

The only way to have a friend is to be one. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (66)

Be silly. Be honest. Be kind. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (80)

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (31)

Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-94)

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (60)

If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (30)

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (20)

Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (22)

Every artist was first an amateur. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (75)

To be great is to be misunderstood. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (74)

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (66)

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (-50)

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (32)

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (31)

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (11)

A great man is always willing to be little. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (66)

When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest things we can know. ~Emerson http://smpl.ws/ae (4)