More from and about
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself.
Go forward and make your dreams come true.

   

Finish every 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; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.  This day is all that is good and fair.  It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.
  
  
To fill the hour,--that is happiness; to fill the hour, and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval. . . . To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom. . . . Since our office is with moments, let us husband them.  Five minutes of to-day are worth as much to me, as five minutes in the next millennium.  Let us be poised, and wise, and our own, to-day.  Let us treat the men and women well:  treat them as if they were real: perhaps they are.

      
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
  
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.
   

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.

     

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

   

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are
tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

   

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

   

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you
something else is the greatest accomplishment.

   
    
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is widely regarded as one of America's most influential authors, philosophers and thinkers. At one time a Unitarian minister, Emerson left his pastorate because of doctrinal disputes with his superiors. Soon after, on a trip to Europe, he met a number of intellectuals, including Thomas Carlyle and William Wordsworth.

The ideas of these men, along with those of Plato and some of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Persian thinkers, strongly influenced his development of the philosophy of "Transcendentalism."  In 1836 Emerson expressed Transcendentalism's main principle of the "mystical unity of nature" in his essay, "Nature."

Emerson urged independent thinking and stressed that not all life's answers are found in books. In his "The American Scholar" address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge in 1837 Emerson states that: "Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst." He believed that a scholar learns best by engaging life. Emerson's essays on "The Conduct of Life" outline what one might do to engage life "skillfully."

  

  

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