Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

/ Author List / Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Tags : Accomplishment Be Yourself Conformity Individuality

2. “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”

Tags : Belief Experience Faith Judging From Experience Religion Unseen

3. “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.”

Tags : Spirituality

4. “Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”

Tags : Motivational Work

5. “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

Tags : Quotes
Source : The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

6. “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”

Tags : Ecology Inspirational Quotes Nature Trees

7. “I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.”

Tags : Appearances Institutions Labels Values
Source : Self-Reliance

8. “Every artist was first an amateur.”

Tags : Artist Skill Skills Talent Talents

9. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Tags : Destiny Self Determination

10. “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”

Tags : Leisure Solitude

11. “Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.”

Tags : Deities Deity Disguise Divine Divine Self Divinity Divinity Within Fool God Godlike Godliness Godly Godly Reference Gods Higher Self Man

12. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”

Tags : Contradiction Correcting Correction Criticism Inspirational Opinions Paranoia
Source : Emerson in His Journals

13. “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”

Tags : Books Intelligence Wisdom

14. “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

Tags : Encouragement Leadership

15. “Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long that they have come to esteem the religious, learned and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate assaults on these, because they feel them to be assaults on property. They measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is.”

Tags : Greed Materialism Possessions Property Values
Source : Self-Reliance

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

Tags : Happiness

17. “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.”

Tags : Life Regrets

18. “Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.”

Tags : Manners

19. “A great man is always willing to be little.”

Tags : Confidence Greatness Humbleness Humility Modesty Size

20. “Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you.”

Tags : Be Yourself Inspirational Self Improvement

21. “Nothing external to you has any power over you.”

Tags : Ataraxy Inner Peace

22. “I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever only rejoices me, and the heart appoints”

Tags : Ataraxy Be Yourself Oath Self Assuredness

23. “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Tags : Advice For Daily Living Inspirational Live In The Moment Optimism Wonder

24. “Write it on your heartthat every day is the best day in the year.He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the daywho allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.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, with too high a spiritto be cumbered with your old nonsense.This new day is too dear,with its hopes and invitations,to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

Tags : Carpe Diem Hope New Day Optimism
Source : Collected Poems and Translations

25. “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

Tags : Kindness

26. “Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue. . . . ”

Tags : Art Emotion Experience Illusion Perception

27. “There is an optical illusion about every person we meet.”

Tags : Illusion Perception
Source : Essays and Lectures

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

Tags : Dreams

29. “We are like travelers using the cinders of a volcano to roast their eggs.”

Tags : Eggs Humans Language Nature

30. “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.”

Tags : Essay Inspirational Lecture Nonfiction Philosophy Self Reliance Social Commentary Transcendentalism
Source : The Complete Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

31. “Trust instinct to the end, even though you can give no reason.”

Tags : Instinct

32. “Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”

Tags : Abandonment Friends Loneliness Visiting

33. “The Artist always has the masters in his eyes.”

Tags : Ambition Art Artist Eyes Love Master Work

34. “Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.”

Tags : Political Vote

35. “Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.”

Tags : Art Create Inspiration Poetry Prose Write

36. “The earth laughs in flowers.”

Tags : Flowers Laughter

37. “Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”

Tags : Poetry Sentiment Tea
Source : Letters and Social Aims

38. “To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine.”

Tags : Divine Holy Philosopher Poet Sacred

39. “Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.”

Tags : Affirmations Belief Belief Quotes Beliefs Faith Faithlessness Hope Inner Guidance Inner Voice Intuition Intuitive Soul

40. “The First wealth is health.”

Tags : Health

41. “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

Tags : Causality Causation Cause And Effect Chance Darwinism Inspirational Kalam Cosmological Argument Luck Naturalism Necessity Serendipity

42. “The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.”

Tags : Calling Career Career Counseling Find Your Passion Fortune Happiness Happiness Fulfillment Desire Happiness Life Job Job Search Life Coaching Life Purpose Passionate Living Purpose Purpose In Life Pursue Pursue Your Passion Pursuit Pursuit Of Happiness Ralph Waldo Emerson Self Expression Work

43. “In happy hours, nature appears to us one with art; art perfected, -- the work of genius. And the individual, in whom simple tastes and susceptibility to all the great human influences overpower the accidents of a local and special culture, is the best critic of art. Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”

Tags : Attitude Toward Life

44. “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”

Tags : Challenges Difficulty Inspirational Learning Science Value

45. “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.”

Tags : Astronomy Beauty Heavens Nature Night Night Sky Religion Sky Stars
Source : Nature and Selected Essays

46. “Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me.”

Tags : Generosity
Source : Gifts: an essay

47. “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”

Tags : Brave Inspirational

48. “You will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.”

Tags : Being Yourself
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

49. “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”

Tags : Animal Cruelty Diet Ethical Ethics Food Slaughterhouse Vegan Veganism Vegetarian Vegetarianism

50. “Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up”

Tags : Faith Inspiration Life Sorrow Wisdom Worry

51. “Whatever you do you need courage.Whatever course you decide upon, there will always be someone to tell you that you are wrong.”

Tags : Courage Life Direction Naysayers

52. “Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.”

Tags : Beauty Power

53. “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

Tags : Life Life Experience

54. “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.”

Tags : Greatness
Source : Self Reliance

55. “To be great is to be misunderstood.”

Tags : Greatness

56. “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”

Tags : Greatness Simplicity

57. “There is creative reading as well as creative writing.”

Tags : Creativity Enlightenment Learning Reading Writing

58. “By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.”

Tags : Quotes

59. “Love what is simple and beautiful. These are the essentials.”

Tags : Authors Emerson Kara Skye Smith Poems Poetry Quotes
Source : The Tao of Emerson the Tao of Emerson

60. “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can offer with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.”

Tags : Individuality Self Expression Uniqueness

61. “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”

Tags : Integrity Mind
Source : Self-Reliance

62. “Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic in the best minds. Men live the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hands on the door-latch they die outside.”

Tags : Faith Harmony Love Mystery

63. “I would put myself in the attitude to look in the eye an abstract truth, and I cannot. I blench and withdraw on this side and on that. I seem to know what he meant who said, No man can see God face to face and live.”

Tags : Abstract Abstraction Fear Fear Of Truth God Truth

64. “In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.”

Tags : Books Civilization Civilized Emerson Quote Reading

65. “At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say,—'Come out unto us.' But keep thy state; come not into their confusion. The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act.”

Tags : Distraction Frustration Perspective Wisdom
Source : The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

66. “Do the thing and you will have the power.”

Tags : Action Do It Power You Can Do It

67. “The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”

Tags : Confidence Courage Courage To Be Oneself Independent Thought Lightning Lightning Rod Pride Protection Self Belief Self Determination Self Esteem Self Protection Self Reliance Independence

68. “The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”

Tags : Satire

69. “The foremost watchman on the peak announces his news. It is the truest word ever spoken, and the phrase will be th fittest, most musical, and the unerring voice of the world for that time.”

Tags : Poetry

70. “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

Tags : Nature Outdoors

71. “Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.”

Tags : Inspiration

72. “The eyes indicate the antiquity of the soul.”

Tags : Souls

73. “The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.”

Tags : Success

74. “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

Tags : Determination Fate

75. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

Tags : Self Confidence Self Reliance Self Trust Trust
Source : Self-Reliance

76. “Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

Tags : Life Risk Taking Timidity
Source : Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with Annotations - 1841-1844

77. “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

Tags : Comradery Friends Frienship

78. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”

Tags : Self Reliance
Source : Ralph Waldo Emerson on Self Reliance

79. “You are constantly invited to be what you are.”

Tags : Self Reliance

80. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

Tags : Peace Self Reliance
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

81. “Valor consists in the power of self-recovery, so that a man cannot have his flank turned, cannot be out-generalled, but put him where you will, he stands. This can only be by his preferring truth to his past apprehension of truth; and his alert acceptance of it, from whatever quarter; the intrepid conviction that his laws, his relations to society, his Christianity, his world may at any time be superseded and decease.”

Tags : Circles Courage Fortitude Strength Valor

82. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — 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.”

Tags : Consistency Greatness Misunderstood
Source : Self-Reliance

83. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Tags : Consistency Foolish Little Minds Philosophers
Source : Self-Reliance

84. “Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. - 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' - 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.”

Tags : Being Misunderstood Consistency

85. “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

Tags : Appreciation Wisdom Wonder

86. “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Tags : Gratitude

87. “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.”

Tags : Spiritual

88. “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Tags : Helping Others Make A Difference Purpose Purpose Of Life

89. “I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.”

Tags : Church Religion
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

90. “Fear always springsfrom ignorance.”

Tags : Fear Ignorance

91. “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”

Tags : Fear Inspirational Self Confidence

92. “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”

Tags : Fear

93. “Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.”

Tags : Art Creativity Different Individuality Non Conformist
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

94. “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

Tags : Friends
Source : Emerson in His Journals

95. “Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired. Our sympathy is just as base. We come to them who weep foolishly, and sit down and cry for company, instead of imparting to them truth and health in rough electric shocks, putting them once more in communication with their own reason. The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man. For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.”

Tags : Discontent Regret Self Reliance Will
Source : Self-Reliance

96. “What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

Tags : Possibilities

97. “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.”

Tags : Individualism Self Reliance Self Trust
Source : Self-Reliance

98. “There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant”

Tags : Information Age Information Overload Social Media

99. “Of all the ways to lose a person, death is the kindest.”

Tags : Death Death And Dying Loss

100. “It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.”

Tags : Integrity Self Actualization Self Determination

101. “Nature wishes that woman should attract man, yet she often cunningly moulds into her face a little sarcasm, which seems to say, 'Yes, I am willing to attract, but to attract a little better kind of a man than any I yet behold”

Tags : Attraction Man Standard Woman

102. “Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men, and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white to his grave.The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?”

Tags : Thoughts On Life

103. “It is not the length of life, but the depth.”

Tags : Life

104. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Tags : Inspirational Life

105. “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

Tags : Live In The Moment

106. “We go to Europe to be Americanized.”

Tags : Europe United States

107. “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”

Tags : Decoration Friends Home Homemaking House Visitors

108. “Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.”

Tags : Colleges Genius Home Schooling Humor School

109. “Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.”

Tags : Character Emerson Intellect

110. “Imagination is a very high sort of seeing, which does not come by study, but by the intellect being where and what it sees, by sharing the path, or circuits of things through forms, and so making them translucid to others.”

Tags : Creation Meaning Poetry Translation

111. “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”

Tags : Ability Ability And Attitude Effort Hard Work Inspirational Job Jobs Prove Worth

112. “The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.”

Tags : Ability Achievement

113. “Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.”

Tags : Fearlessness Honesty Speaking Your Mind
Source : Self-Reliance

114. “Raphael paints wisdom, Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakespeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it.”

Tags : Christopher Wren George Washington James Watt Phidias Raphael Shakespeare Washington Watt William Shakespeare Wren

115. “I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

Tags : Books Reading We Are What We Eat We Are What We Read You Are What You Eat You Are What You Read

116. “He in whom the love of repose predominates will accept the first creed, the first philosophy, the first political party he meets — most likely his father's. He gets rest, commodity, and reputation; but he shuts the door of truth.”

Tags : Closed Mindedness Convenience Enlightenment Narrow Mindedness Philosophy Politics Prejudice Prejudices Truth

117. “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship”

Tags : Happiness Lessons Nature Worship
Source : Nature

118. “Men do what is called a good action, as some piece of courage or charity, much as they would pay a fine in expiation of daily non-appearance on parade. Their works are done as an apology or extenuation of their living in the world. I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is not an apology, but a life.”

Tags : Essay Transcendentalism
Source : Self-Reliance

119. “All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”

Tags : Originality

120. “Fame is proof that people are gullible.”

Tags : Fame Gullibility

121. “Misunderstood! It is a right fool's word. 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.”

Tags : Copernicus Galileo Genius Greatness Jesus Luther Misunderstood
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

122. “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret.”

Tags : Education Initiative Self Education

123. “So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man,When Duty whispers low, 'Thou must,' The youth whispers, 'I can.”

Tags : Action Belief Believing Duty God Initiative
Source : Emerson: Poems

124. “Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well - he has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.”

Tags : Cheating Neighborliness

125. “It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

Tags : Play

126. “In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life, is always a child. In the woods, is perpetual youth.”

Tags : Nature Youth
Source : Nature and Selected Essays

127. “I covet truth; beauty is unripe childhood's cheat; I leave it behind with the games of youth.”

Tags : Age Beauty Love Youth
Source : Prose and Poetry

128. “Thought and knowledge are natures in which apparatus and pretension avail nothing. Gowns, and pecuniary foundations, though of towns of gold, can never countervail the least sentence or syllable of wit. Forget this, and out American colleges will recede in their public importance whilst they grow richer every year.”

Tags : American Scholar College Emerson Gold Knowledge Wealth Wit

129. “None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.”

Tags : Inspirational Self Determination Self Expression

130. “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”

Tags : Beauty Travel
Source : Emerson's Essays

131. “Beauty without expression is boring.”

Tags : Beauty

132. “Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it”

Tags : Beauty Nature

133. “As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.”

Tags : Creed Creeds Disease Freethought Intellect Prayer Religion Will
Source : Self-Reliance

134. “I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions”

Tags : Aversion Customs Emerson Happier Self Reliance Tastes
Source : Self-Reliance

135. “On my saying, What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within? my friend suggested,--"But these impulses may be from below, not from above." I replied, "They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil's child, I will live then from the Devil." No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if everything were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. Every decent and well-spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right. I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.”

Tags : Morality
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

136. “We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation -rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.”

Tags : 1844 Education Education System Knowledge
Source : Essays Including Essays, First & Second Series, English Traits, Nature & Considerations by the Way

137. “Of course, there is a portion of reading quite indispensable to a wise man. History and exact science he must learn by laborious reading. Colleges, in like manner, have their indispensable office, - to teach elements. But they can only highly serve us, when they aim not to drill, but to create; when they gather from far every ray of various genius to their hospitable halls, and, by the concentrated fires, set the hearts of their youth on flame. Thought and knowledge are natures in which apparatus and pretension avail nothing. Gowns, and pecuniary foundations, though of towns of gold, can never countervail the least sentence or syllable of wit. Forget this, and our American colleges will recede in their public importance, whilst they grow richer every year.”

Tags : Education System
Source : The American Scholar; Self-Reliance. Compensation

138. “Don't trust children with edge tools. Don't trust man, great God, with more power than he has until he has learned to use that little better. What a hell we should make of the world if we could do what we would!”

Tags : Children Good Advice Power Tools

139. “Moderation in all things, especially moderation.”

Tags : Moderation

140. “With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — 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.”

Tags : Misunderstood
Source : Self-Reliance

141. “You become what you think about all day long.”

Tags : Inspirational Obsession

142. “That second man has his own way of looking at things; asks himself which debt must I pay first, the debt to the rich, or the debt to the poor? the debt of money, or the debt of thought to mankind, of genius to nature? For you, O broker! there is no other principle but arithmetic. For me, commerce is of trivial import; love, faith, truth of character, the aspiration of man, these are sacred; nor can I detach one duty, like you, from all other duties, and concentrate my forces mechanically on the payment of moneys. Let me live onward; you shall find that, though slower, the progress of my character will liquidate all these debts without injustice to higher claims. If a man should dedicate himself to the payment of notes, would not this be injustice? Does he owe no debt but money? And are all claims on him to be postponed to a landlord's or a banker's?”

Tags : Circles Debts Priorities

143. “Thought is the property of those only who can entertain it. -”

Tags : Law Of Attraction New Thought Science Of Mind

144. “Be an opener of doors”

Tags : Assistance Doors Passion Success

145. “Ralph Waldo Emerson“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson”

Tags : Poem Quote Ralph Waldo Emerson Trail

146. “One idea lights a thousand candles.”

Tags : Ideas Ideas Are Power

147. “There is a difference between truly listening and waiting for your turn to talk.”

Tags : Listening Listening Skills

148. “Wherever a man comes, there comes a revolution. The old is for slaves.”

Tags : Inertia Initiative Tradition

149. “Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?”

Tags : Frugality

150. “The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.”

Tags : Attitude Leadership Thought

151. “All things are engaged in writing their history...Not a foot steps into the snow, or along the ground, but prints in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. The ground is all memoranda and signatures; and every object covered over with hints. In nature, this self-registration is incessant, and the narrative is the print of the seal.”

Tags : Ground History Nature Steps

152. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”

Tags :

153. “Your goodness must have some edge to it -- else it is none.”

Tags : Anderbo Anderbo Com Art Beauty Behavior Books Culture Eloquence Emerson Father Must Gail Hochman Illusion Jonathan Galassi Power Ralph Waldo Emerson Rick Rofihe Rofihe Rrofihe Vilcek Literature Prize Wealth Whiting Award
Source : Culture, Behavior, Beauty, Books, Art, Eloquence, Power, Wealth, Illusions

154. “Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.”

Tags : Human Society Lies Truth
Source : Essays: First and Second Series

155. “As long as all that is said is said against me, I feel a certain sublime assurance of success, but as soon as honied words of praise are spoken for me, I feel as one that lies unprotected before his enemies.”

Tags : Criticism Enemies Enemy Fame Foe Foes Praise Success
Source : Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1820-1824

156. “Virtues are in the popular estimate rather the exception than the rule.”

Tags : Exception Rule Virtue Virtues

157. “I am the owner of the sphere,Of the seven stars and the solar year,of Caesar's hand, and Plato's brain,Of Lord Christ's heart, and Shakespeare's strain.”

Tags : Introduction
Source : History

158. “There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.”

Tags : Food

159. “My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine.”

Tags : Alms Battle Conquest Honest Life Living Medicine Unique

160. “Every industrious man, in every lawful calling, is a useful man. And one principal reason why men are so often useless is that they neglect their own profession or calling, and divide and shift their attention among a multiplicity of objects and pursuits.”

Tags : Career Vocation Work

161. “I have no expectation that any man will read history aright who thinks that what was done in a remote age, by men whose names have resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing today.”

Tags : Courage History Purpose Vocation
Source : The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

162. “The first and last lesson of religion is, 'The things that are seen are temporal; the things that are not seen are eternal.' It puts an affront upon nature.”

Tags : Affront Eternal Lesson Nature Religion Temporal
Source : English Traits

163. “I cannot marry the facts of William Shakespeare to his verse: Other men had led lives in some sort of keeping with their thought, but this man is in wide contrast.”

Tags : Anonymous Author Bruce Hutchison Burghley Cecil Burghley Child Children De Vere Edward De Vere Fake Fraud Handwriting Love S Labor Lost Mark Anderson Queen Elizabeth I Secret Child Shakespeare Shakespeare S Signature Shakespeare Signature Who Was Shakespeare Who Wrote Shakespeare

164. “Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profoundest thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.”

Tags : Books Literature Reading Words

165. “As we are, so we do; and as we do, so is it done to us; we are the builders of our fortunes.”

Tags : Courtesy

166. “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.”

Tags : Education

167. “A world in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Tags : Adventure Explore Knowledge Learning Open Air Wisdom World
Source : Representative Men: Seven Lectures

168. “Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact makes much impression on him, and another none.”

Tags : Emerson Transcendentalism
Source : Self-Reliance

169. “Go where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Tags : Emerson

170. “Heaven walks among us ordinarily muffled in such triple or tenfold disguises that the wisest are deceived and no one suspects the days to be gods.”

Tags : Emerson Inspirational

171. “The selfish man suffers more from his selfishness than he from whom that selfishness withholds some important benefit.”

Tags : Emerson Philosophy
Source : The Portable Emerson

172. “Line in nature is not found;Unit and universe are round;In vain produced, all rays return;Evil will bless, and ice will burn.”

Tags : Emerson Literature Poem Uriel Waldo Emerson

173. “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this.”

Tags : Emerson Freedom Individuality Morals Values

174. “It is one of those fables, which, out of an unknown antiquity, convey an unlooked-for wisdom, that the gods, in the beginning, divided Man into men, that he might be more helpful to himself; just as the hand was divided into fingers, the better to answer its end.”

Tags : Emerson Essays

175. “There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all parts, that is, the poet.”

Tags : Emerson Nature Poet
Source : Nature

176. “Imitation is suicide.”

Tags : Be Yourself Creativity Life

177. “Bare lists of words are found suggestive to an imaginative and excited mind.”

Tags : Artists Authors Creativity Imagination

178. “Everybody we know surrounds himself with a fine house, fine books, conservatory, gardens, equipage, and all manner of toys, as screens to interpose between himself and his guest. Does it not seem as if man was of a very sly, elusive nature, and dreaded nothing so much as a full rencontre front to front with his fellow?”

Tags : 19Th Century Essayist Essays Philosophy Poet Philosopher Ralph Wald Emerson
Source : Essays on Manners, Self-Reliance, Compensation, Nature, Friendship

179. “Infancy is the perpetual Messiah, which comes into the arms of fallen men, and pleads with them to return to paradise.”

Tags : Infancy Innocence Paradise
Source : Nature

180. “Infancy conforms to nobody: all conform to it, so that one babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it.”

Tags : Cute Humor Infancy Playing With Babies

181. “Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.”

Tags : Courage Enjoy Life Hope Perseverance

182. “You would compliment a coxcomb doing a good act, but you would not praise an angel.”

Tags : Angel Complimenting Compliments Irony Praise
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

183. “The student is to read history actively not passively.”

Tags : History
Source : Self-Reliance and Other Essays

184. “Self trust is the essence of heroism.”

Tags : Self Trust

185. “A man is known by the books he reads.”

Tags : Individuality

186. “Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind, and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era.”

Tags : Change Courage To Be Oneself Individuality
Source : The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson

187. “Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.”

Tags : Confidence Gifts Testimony

188. “Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.”

Tags : Happiness

189. “Only so much of life do I know as I have lived. ”

Tags : Experience Favorite Author Life
Source : The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Tags : Inspirational

191. “Always do what you are afraid to do.”

Tags : Inspirational

192. “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.”

Tags : Courage Inspirational

193. “We dress our garden, eat our dinners, discuss the household with our wives, and these things make no impression, are forgotten next week; but in the solitude to which every man is always returning, he has a sanity and revelations, which in his passage into new worlds he will carry with him. Never mind the ridicule, never mind the defeat: up again, old heart! — it seems to say, — there is victory yet for all justice; and the true romance which the world exists to realize, will be the transformation of genius into practical power.”

Tags : Endurance Life Solitude
Source : The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

194. “Truly speaking, it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul. What he announces, I must find true in me, or reject; and on his word, or as his second, be he who he may, I can accept nothing.”

Tags : Provocation Self Reliance
Source : The Portable Emerson

195. “Money often costs too much”

Tags : Cost Money

196. “Those who are esteemed umpires of taste, are often persons who have acquired some knowledge of admired pictures or sculptures, and have an inclination for whatever is elegant; but if you inquire whether they are beautiful souls, and whether their own acts are like fair pictures, you learn that they are selfish and sensual. Their cultivation is local, as if you should rub a log of dry wood in one spot to produce fire, all the rest remaining cold. Their knowledge of the fine arts is some study of rules and particulars, or some limited judgment of color or form which is exercised for amusement or for show. It is a proof of the shallowness of the doctrine of beauty, as it lies in the minds of our amateurs, that men seem to have lost the perception of the instant dependence of form upon soul.”

Tags : Art Beauty Pretense
Source : The Poet

197. “A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.”

Tags : Friendship Masterpiece Nature

198. “The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

Tags : Knowing Yourself Self Reliance

199. “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.”

Tags : Peace

200. “Scatter joy!”

Tags : Joy