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|Quotations by Ralph Waldo Emerson|
|The person you decide to be - The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.|
Always someone to tell you that you are wrong - 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 which tempt you to believe that 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.
Respect the child - Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.
A sect or party is an elegant incognito - A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.
Never fall into the vulgar mistake - Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Religion that is afraid of science - The Religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide. It acknowledges that it is not equal to the whole of truth, that it legislates, tyrannizes over a village of God's empires but is not the immutable universal law. Every influx of atheism, of skepticism is thus made useful as a mercury pill assaulting and removing a diseased religion and making way for truth.
Not much an advocate for traveling - I am not much an advocate for traveling, and I observe that men run away to other countries because they are not good in their own, and run back to their own because they pass for nothing in the new places. For the most part, only the light characters travel. Who are you that have no task to keep you at home? I have been quoted as saying captious things about travel; but I mean to do justice. .... He that does not fill a place at home, cannot abroad. He only goes there to hide his insignificance in a larger crowd.
Once you make a decision. . . - Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
To be yourself in a world that. . . - To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Music is an asylum - So is music an asylum. It takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence and whereto. All the great interrogatories, like questioning angels, float in on its waves of sound.
It is easy to live after the world's opinion - 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.
Meek young men group up in libraries - Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views, which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon, have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books.
Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds - 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.
All history is subjective - All history becomes subjective; in other words there is properly no history; only biography.
Foolish legislation is a rope of sand - The wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand which perishes in the twisting; that the State must follow and not lead the character and progress of the citizen; . . . that the form of government which prevails is the expression of what cultivation exists in the population which permits it. The law is only a memorandum.
Universities are hostile to genius - Universities are, of course, hostile to geniuses, which seeing and using ways of their own, discredit the routine: as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints.
There is no den to hide a rogue - There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel, and mole.
Nature is always consistent . . . - Nature is always consistent, though she feigns to contravene her own laws. She keeps her laws, and seems to transcend them. She arms and equips an animal to find its place and living in the earth, and at the same time she arms and equips another animal to destroy it.
Four quarters of the globe no longer - The four-quarters of the globe are no longer Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, but Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen.
What lies within - What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
All life is an experiment - Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
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