True Self Essay

1477 Words6 Pages
True Self Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance”, first published in 1841, is one of the most inspiring texts I have ever encountered. It is like the bible for anyone who is looking to dedicate him or herself to the pursuit of a personally fulfilling life. “Self-Reliance” is about courage, inspiration, and life-lessons we should take from those lives that have gone before us. Emerson begins his major work on individualism by asserting the importance of thinking for oneself rather than meekly accepting other people’s ideas. As in almost all of his work, he promotes individual experience over the knowledge gained from books: “To believe that what is true in your private heart is true for all men, -- that is genius” (Emerson 1747). The person who chooses to disregard personal intuition and instead, chooses to rely on others’ opinions lacks the creative power necessary for being a bold individual. I believe that Emerson’s philosophy can be followed and work as a means of trusting, and following a person’s own life journey. The lesson Emerson would have us learn is to trust thyself. “…Every heart vibrates to that iron string” (1747). Emerson’s motto to rely on oneself to rely on others’ judgments is cowardly, without inspiration or hope. A person with self- esteem, on the other hand, exhibits originality, and a sense of being mature. Candyce Norvell's Critical Essay on "Self-Reliance" states that perhaps Emerson should have brought light to the fact that he became a successful and happy individual by diligently living the principal of self- reliance (Norvell 2). As you can see, not only did Emerson "preach" about the importance of trusting thyself but he was the epitome of such example. We are to be guides of our own lives; we must embark on the adventure of self trust. It is to this adventure of self-trust that Emerson invites us: We are to participate in the
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