Things are as real as they are honest. You will have no hope. We look to things, to property, to external situations to make us happy, to make us good, to make us feel satisfied or redeemed. Be brave and true to yourself. We get new modes of transportation and lose some health from our drop in exercise. He would utter opinions on all passing affairs, which being seen to be not private, but necessary, would sink like darts into the ear of men, and put them in fear. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
It is perfect at every moment just what it is, complete, whole, and right now. This rebellious individualism contrasts with the attitude of cautious adults, who, because they are overly concerned with reputation, approval, and the opinion of others, are always hesitant or unsure; consequently, adults have great difficulty acting spontaneously or genuinely. This is difficult and may be the only defining difference between those who are great and those who are mediocre. Be exactly what you are right now and what will happen? He will be relying on the external rules created by others rather than trusting himself. Wake up, be what you are, express your genius and your originality. When an un-self-reliant person finds some new philosophy, she will think it is the end-all, be-all, the all-encompassing truth. Did they use up greatness? They haven't learned to calculate how many people oppose their purposes and so they don't alter their purposes accordingly.
And these individual natures allow the great thinker — the ideal individual — to battle conformity and consistency. Cultivate a profound indifference to circumstances, opinions, and authority. You'll be in excellent company. Do these things with sincerity and you come nearer to being what you truly are: A singular expression of all existence a genius, a creator, a redeemer, a healer, a teacher, a force for good in the world. You lose your connection to the Mystery.
By doing this Emerson started something to what today is known as American individualism. Regret comes from a lack of self-discipline. Your solitude and your deep honesty will strengthen you and guide your attention vitally and healthfully. They take actions as if to justify or excuse themselves. One person who embodies this American value would be Ulysses S. Relying on old philosophies or dogmas misses the fact that all of the universe is being created now, and you need rely on nobody else to tell you what is. Emerson now focuses his attention on the importance of an individual's resisting pressure to conform to external norms, including those of society, which conspires to defeat self-reliance in its members.
You and I have greatness inside us waiting to get out. And in the end we will respect and honor those who do it now. But I can pay it forward. Names, customs, and institutions give the conformist a sense of stability and security: they are signposts and anchors they grasp onto to gain some semblance of orientation in the midst of the ambiguity and uncertainty of reality. Self Reliance can mean a lot of different things to different people.
Discuss how this relates to society. The greatness of the universe cannot be expressed by cowards. The deliberate acts of our minds can be disputed, but perception is final and undeniable. That feeling is far more valuable than the statements themselves. But each soul is an entirely new classification. Live your life with deep honesty, and you have made luck irrelevant. Citing cultures that traditionally frown on inconsistency, Emerson points out that history's greatest thinkers were branded as outcasts for their original ideas — and scorned as such by their peers.
Too many today, afflicted with a fallacy of insignificance, look outward in search of meaning and guidance to live by. In this quote, Emerson is referring to the importance of man believing in himself. My life should be unique and original. Maybe some great teacher will come along who will reveal to us our own power. Self reliance is an important skill to have. Who could have taught Thoreau or Einstein or Edison? What makes Thoreau great is that very part he could not borrow from anyone else.
I personally do not agree with Emerson. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence… But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. We have come to put the world right, and should be embarrassed by the sympathy of others. There is no time to them. That source of being and wisdom is not separate from all other things but emanates and expresses itself alike in all things.