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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.
Great book for anyone considering doing something they are still somewhat uncomfortable with. IE Starting a new business.Published 1 month ago by Adam Sims
For those of us who are searching for more meaning in life than the superficial societal norms, Emerson's Self Reliance is a must readPublished 1 month ago by D. Mykel
It inspires courage and motivation in a profound and philosophical way, without the superficiality of a mundane self-help book.Published 3 months ago by Monica
Such wisdom and a voice for anyone feeling alienate by the 21st century culture (lack of) and values, life style. Find wisdom and inner peace.Published 3 months ago by Greetings, Pilgrims
You have to read this period, zone into his time in order to fully appreciate.Published 3 months ago by Audrey E. Wong
Very disappointed. Emerson's timeless essay is given a bizarre and poor treatment by the "Domino Project". Read morePublished 3 months ago by DFgates
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT TO READ EMERSON. This is a hodge podge of quotes and other niceties. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Oregon Native
Couldn't tell where emersons words ended and other people's opinions beganPublished 3 months ago by Daniel Spivak