Final Paper- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Self- Reliance” is considered one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s best-known essays. The essay was first published in 1841 in his collection, Essays: First Series. This essay contains the most thorough statement of Emerson’s emphasis on the need for individuals to avoid conformity and false consistency, and instead follow their own instincts and ideas. This essay shows Emerson’s ways for making and translating classical philosophy and turning it to comprehensible language, and signifying its relevance to everyday life. It is broken into three sections: the value of and barriers to self-reliance, self-reliance and the individual, and self-reliance and society.
The Value of and Barriers to Self-Reliance was my favorite section. Emerson began his essay with the assertion, “To believe in your own thought, to believe that what is true ...view middle of the document...
” This to me means that we as humans rather than act with a false consistency to a past memory, we must always live in the present. I go by always going by what’s for today and not worrying about what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. I don’t take it as fear because it’s mostly why dwell on what happened in the past if there is nothing you can do about it today.
When I think of self-reliance, I think about what does it mean to be self- reliant. It is the the ability to handle everything life throws at you, and you are capable of taking guidance from yourself rather than someone or something. Self-reliance has the word “self” in it, so everything is about you how you realize and accept that you are responsible for everything in your life and if you want something done, you must do it yourself. Characteristics for being self-reliant come from within, being self-dependent, and self-deprived. Having the ability to listen to themselves and follow their own intuition.
This Emerson essay is by far my favorite because it is so realistic. I think many people can benefit from reading this, because it is an essential in life to be self-reliant. This essay is compelling because it opens your eyes to what “self-reliance” really is and how it relates to society. Emerson is stating for self-realization, and how you do not need acceptance from society to be yourself. He writes, “What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” Following that statement, he goes on saying to be as independent as possible in our beliefs. Meaning if one is not independent is his/her own belief how would they know who they are, if you are unknown to yourself, how could we be known to anyone else.
Know yourself and then let other know you. If they can accept you for who you are without trying to change you then they are worthy of your affections and if they cannot accept you, leave them alone. Concluding “Self-Reliance,” Emerson leaves the readers with “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” You must be true to yourself before anything else.