Monday, November 27, 2006

Emerson Aphorisms

Please cite the aphorism that struck you the most in Self Reliance. An aphorism is a short statment that expresses wise or clever observations about life. Please elaborate on its meaning and the overall significance and connection to you.

17 Comments:

Blogger Kellen G said...

"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think." This is my favorite Emerson Aphorism, or the one that really hit home. I believe that the quote is trying to say we must do what we feel is good and what we want to do, not what those around us want us to do. With this said it's hard not to be influenced by those around you, good or bad. When you think of those in this world that we really look up to, really admire, they think for themselves and then some. This quote or Aphorism also shows me that we should'nt worry about impressing others or having the aproval of others in any sense. We must be strong and stand up for our beliefs. This is much easier said than done but it's speaks volumes to myself and my daily life. Even if I just were to remind myself every day or every week for that matter I think it would do a world of help. That is the hard part is remembering that it does'nt matter anymore. "It" being the influences around you, media, piers, family ect. This is my favorite Emerson Aphorism and how it applied to my personal life.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Eric S. said...

The aphorism from "Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson that struck me the most was, "But why should you keep your head over your shoulder? Why drag about this copse of your memory...to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present, and live ever in a new day." I relate to this aphorism because Emerson has expressed my views of the past perfectly in this short statement. I believe that dwelling on past incidents or issues will only lead one in the wrong direction. It is important to remember the past and what has occurred, but to move on and use the knowledge you've gained through these experiences for future life issues. No matter what has happened, tomorrow's a new day. Life should be lived that way, each day to it's fullest.

9:44 PM  
Blogger stephanie said...

This is my favorite Emerson quote, " I it is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better that you know it."I believe people think they know you better than you know yourself. That will try to tell you what youi should be for the rest of your life. They think that they are always right.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Christopher P. said...

The Emerson Aphorism that I liked was "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives..." I believe he is trying to say you can only truly enjoy something when not only have you worked hard for it, but when you worked as hard as you could. That envying someone is just stupid and copying somebody is worse.
I agree with what he says. A person can't (or at least shouldn't) be happy with what he has done until he can truthfully say he did his best. When he says "...that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide..." it reminds me of a quote on a t-shirt I saw:
"I have chosen this path
Not to fit a mold,
Not to join a trend,
Not to follow a crowd,
But because it is right for me"
I think that until you can tell yourself this and believe it your not doing what's right for you and that's all you should really worry about.

1:00 PM  
Blogger nicolec said...

My favorite aphorism is "Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string." This totally sums up my mind set that you should trust yourself. No one can give you better advice than yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else ever can and who better to trust in that instance?

2:05 PM  
Blogger lsheffield said...

"Men measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is." This is my favorite aphorism because it shows the view of society. They look at the materal possessions and not the heart of a man. Society judges by the depth of his wallet and not the depth of his genorisity or kindness.

2:48 PM  
Blogger chelby C. said...

"The other terror that scares us from selftrust is our consistency" I thought this quote was very true and it struck me . I think this means that we are the only one that can be scared of the truth . We are affrade of many things and the only one holding us back from the trust / truth is ourself. This quote can mean many things but I think he is trying to get across that what we put into something is what we get out of it. Effort pays off and there is nothing to be scared because your will power can take you any where.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Adam S said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson's most intriguing aphorism is, "Infancy conforms to nobody; all conform to it." When someone is young they are blessed with the gift of innocence. An infant does whatever he wants, nobody can say that it is right or wrong, because the infant does not know any better. However, as a person grows he realizes the difference between right and wrong. He discovers sin and pain and harships. The innocence that a person had as an infant has now been stripped away. "...all conform to it." Everyone tries to regain the innocence that they had as a child. When people get older they want to stop all of the pain and sadness that they have realized lives. They want to revert to the days of infancy. The times when they could do no wrong. Everything was new, fun, inventive, exhilarating and great. The world had no problems, it was perfect. People conform to infancy, because they see so much good that the new child has to offer the world. A fresh start, a new hope for all the problems that engulf this earth. Emerson wrote a very truthful statement in saying, "Infancy conforms to nobody; all conform to it."

4:40 PM  
Blogger Soo K. said...

My favorite aphorism in Emerson's passage is "Insist on yourself; never imitate." I think that this quote means to rely on yourself and be original. If everyone was like each other, there would be no creativity or excitement in the world. Self-reliance has to do with relying, of course, on yourself and not on others. If one imitates another, they are relying on the other person. This quote is a connection to me because I believe that individuality is very important. Although relying on someone else is sometimes okay, I don't think that you can survive in the real world by copying someone or relying on them all the time. There are some things that you have to know to do, and sometimes there will be no one to rely on. This aphorism tells you to express individuality, rather than conform or imitate, which is important to me.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Alison B said...

In "Self-Reliance" the aphorism that struck me the most was, "To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,--that is genius." That line stuck me because it is true that it is easy to go along living life and just believing what other people say and take other peoples thoughts and make them your own thoughts. To go out and think up your own thoughts and ideas that are completely new, that truely is hard and a great acomplishment to do. Most people go through their whole lives believing ideas that other people have come up with but never take the time to really think about what their values and beliefs are. I truley admire people who will take the time to think about things and really make up their own beliefs for themselves, because that is not an easy thing to do.

6:27 PM  
Blogger karmk said...

"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." This really strikes me because i have wasted a lot of my life trying to be someone else. I see someone getting attention from what they do, so i try to copy them. But what i have noticed is that it never went the way planned. I played games and made people like another person liveing inside my body. it really taught me that no matter who you are, be that person God made you to be, not something different. I wish so much that I can gain back all that time i spent being a fake, but i know i will never have that wish granted. But that is ok becuase i have learned and I am not afraid to have people take me in for me. It most definately feels a lot better!!!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Andrew M said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson presents many intriguing aphorisms throughout his essay entitled “Self Reliance”. He poses many observations upon life through these and one of the most compelling aphorisms that he used was “Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.” This sparked an idea that I had never crossed about how society is viewed. The advancement of society is often measured by technology, power, and wealth within the society. This is how I had viewed the success of society and which nations are more advanced. With this aphorism Emerson points out that with the gain of these things that many value society as a whole loses touch of the things that are equally as important. The “advancement” of society has led to people losing creativity or the value of tasks now performed by machines. As society “advances” and grows more land is taken up and the appreciation for the simple pleasures of nature is slowly lost. Society must pick which is important, but if all aspects of life aren’t put in to perspective these things that are not cherished may be lost. This aphorism really puts society in perspective for me. This changes how I view a successful society and how it never really advances but only focuses on different things.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Janessa S. said...

I agree with Soo on this one. My favorite aphorism is also "Insist on yourself; never imitate." This just really got me thinking. You should always try to be yourself and not imitate others. You also shouldn't care about others think of you, it just makes you more self conscious. I think that what Ralph Waldo is trying to say here is that being yourself is better than anything. When you are your own person and don't imitate others you have a better chance at being happy.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Billy N. said...

My favorite aphorism is the one that says, "The eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit...". I love this one because a lot of times I find myself with something almost perfect. It could be a movie or book or even a piece of music, that I know is truly golden. It's something I've studied and/or know a lot about. When I try to share these things with other people they often shoot me down or blow me off. They are so concerned with how they'll be look at, that they deny themselves enjoyment. They have no knowledge this, yet they've already made up their mind that it is "stupid" or "a waste of time". The worst part about this is that sometimes their ignorance can hinder my view. This aphorism is the best.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Troy B said...

"Insist on yourself; never imitate." I think that this is so true, not only to show others who you really are but to show yourself what you are really made of. Life can be an amazing adventure if you try to create your own path and you don't just try to do what others have done before you. Creating your own path can be one of the best things that you can ever do and if you do it right you might be able to be remember by others for what you have done. So i think that it is a very simple yet powerful statement.

11:48 PM  
Blogger Michael M said...

The aphorism by Emerson that stuck in my head was actually in the first paragraph and was “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men.” I know that this relates to me because I strongly BELIEVE that belief keeps me going. Back to our discussion on Monday, but I think that love and belief are also things that we need as human beings to survive. Everyone says never talk to someone else on their political views or religious beliefs. I think this is so true because in a way people will fight for what they truly believe in; we hold all of this next to our heart and depending on the person, he/she will fight maybe even towards death to defend what they think is true. All of this is just a human factor and is how we were built. None one can explain why we have to believe, it just comes naturally to us.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Daniel Bogar said...

My favorite emerson quote is "it is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better that you know it" I think this is a good quote because it is true. Everyone thinks they know everything about someone when realy they have no idea.

10:09 PM  

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