Top Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American poet and philosopher who lived during 19th century. Emerson had a powerful voice that gave faith to America during the Civil war years. His ideas, greatly influenced by Kant and Neo-platonism acted as a bridge between the American renaissance of 1835-65 and the philosophical currents of Europe.
He became famous as a chief spokesman of Transcendentalism, a philosophical movement in America of mid 19th century, the American tributary of Romanticism. Transcendentalism supported the belief in the spiritual over the senses and spoke about a divine self that could surpass the limitations of material circumstances.
Puzzled by the voices that wanted life to be a scientific cause-and-effect situation Emerson became an advocate that life and existence was not a matter of having a controlled and logical understanding of material circumstances. This according to Emerson was limiting the possibilities of man to be responsible for his fate.
Emerson’s view cultivated the idea of a intuitive self inside every human that was more reliable that external authority, a self that everyone should develop and explore. ‘Trust thyself’ was a motto that became known in the mid 19th century America and promoted the idea that we should look inside us in order to search for the spiritual path that could explain, connect and eventually transcend the materiality of senses and facts. This brought back the question of personal freedom and consciousness of one’s own conduct, intentions and ideals.
A gifted essayist, everything in our world, he preached—even a drop of dew—is a microcosm of the universe. He fervently supported the idea of self-reliance and self-cultivation in order to reach to a deeper, true understanding of things. This personal way to encounter truth and to express the self was for Emerson the means to realize the spiritual potential that lies within every man.
Top Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes
- Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.
- Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
- To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
- Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
- My life is not an apology, but a life.
- Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
- For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
- When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
- The earth laughs in flowers.
- The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
- What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
- It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
- 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.
- Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
- What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
- 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.
- The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
- 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.
- When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost work, but the solidest things we can know.
- Be good to your work, your word, and your friend.
- 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.
- Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.
- You are constantly invited to be what you are.
- Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.
- Beauty without expression is boring.
- Of all the ways to lose a person, death is the kindest.
- I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.
- What is success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch Or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!
- It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
- The ancestor of every action is a thought.
- The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.
- Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.
- In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
- Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
- Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
- Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.
- A friend may be nature’s most magnificent creation.
- Wise men put their trust in ideas and not in circumstances.
- Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.
- The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic
- Give all to love;
Obey thy heart….