EppsNet Archive: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing Can Bring You Peace But Yourself

A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance” Read more →

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Do your work, and I shall know you. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

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. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Do That Which is Assigned You

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance Read more →

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance

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.   In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.   God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.   Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.   Speak what you think now… Read more →

Concord Hymn

On this date in 1775, the first shots in the Revolutionary War were fired at Lexington and Concord . . . By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world. The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept Down the dark stream which seaward creeps. On this green bank, by this soft stream, We set to-day a votive stone; That memory may their deed redeem, When, like our sires, are sons are gone. Spirit, that made those heros dare To die and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee. — Ralph Waldo Emerson Read more →