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Ralph Waldo Emerson, in Self-Reliance: The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home. We imitate; and what is imitation but the travelling of the mind?
Question: Society's quick pace makes it hard to focus and concentrate. What can one to do achieve serenity today?
Emerson: Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Question: Many in society are afraid of of being themselves and speaking authentically. Why do you think that is?
Emerson: Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.
Question: What is the key to happiness with one's work and occupation?
Emerson: A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace. Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing.
Question: There are so many popular opinions in society today. How should we know whom to listen to?
Emerson: Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. 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.
Question: What advice do you have for creators and artists who don't think they create original work?
Emerson: Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.
A collection of others' works displayed in a disorienting way, very difficult to follow and many parts are redundant. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Life Examined
Nice to read books like this because it reminds and refocuses you on what truly matters. Will keep as a reminder.Published 9 days ago by ladyj
Emerson is a great thinker and writer; but . . . he lived a long time ago, and the question comes to mind, "Is he relevant today? Read morePublished 18 days ago by David
Classic! Everyone must read this! Even my teen has read it and loves it. Favorite, favorite, favorite book of all time!Published 23 days ago by Jeanne M. B. Jacobs
The writing, of course, was worthy of a 5-star rating, but I felt that the narrator detracted from this great piece of work.Published 24 days ago by MARY L. MACDONALD
Tho' full of good thought, it is a bit dated for today's audience and, since we are more and more conditioned to dependency, few modern readers will be able to truly internalize... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Virgil Bolton
I'm pretty sure that if cocaine existed in the form of a short essay by an American transcendentalist, it would be Self Reliance. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kate
This is an annotated edition with pointless input from random people. I do NOT appreciate the input. The format is intrusive and impedimentary. Returning for a refund.Published 1 month ago by tux
please split reviews into content and format. horrible. fluff at front. plus can get self reliance in 1141 page compilation with good toc. for same price. Read morePublished 1 month ago by tbyg