Understanding of Emerson’s Self Reliance

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How important is self reliance to me and my future? In Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self Reliance, he wrote about the importance of self reliance and how it's crucial to the way that we live our lives. In the essay Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson used diction, to show that society in bad for individuals. He wants the reader to discrete from the norms and pursue self reliance.        

One of the most heard quotes of Emerson's writing is one that can pertain and relate to the lives of many including myself. Emerson stated that Imitation is suicide(pg.369). He is trying to connect to the reader and make them understand that to imitate someone is to kill oneself. I comply with the meaning of this quote, not because of what it means to the story but to how it has occured to me before. I used to really want to be like some kids at my school. I would start to change my wardrobe to fit in. Slowly but surely it started to kill my sense of uniqueness and adequacy. I want to reach my fullest potential in life, and I can't do that while imitating others. I have started to venture away from the idea that I need to be like everyone else to have or feel a sense of purpose. Not only does imitation not create uniqueness,but it also kills the originality of the person. Emerson propelled the thought of being your true self; and that your rare characteristics that imitation would ruin towards the reader.        

Another one of the recurring themes that Emerson used is the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false solidity, and follow their own beliefs and ideas. The quote Self reliance is its aversion(Emerson 369). portrays the recurring theme that Emerson used. Society often times want individuals to follow the mainstream, to be consistent with the flow. Growing up, I would be nudged by society to go to school, go to college, get a job, retire, and pass away. You see, we live, expecting our lives to follow the norms of tradition. We are afraid to step outside of those boundaries. I want to live my life the way I want it to be. I won't accustom my lifestyle to be generic in anyway. I will do this by having self reliance instead of relying on society to make my choices for me. When I read the quote by Emerson is sparked that belief that I was going to be my own individual. From now on I will start to evert from society,and only dedicate myself to achieving greatness in the form that I want it. Why can't more people have the realization that its okay to have self reliance, it's okay to be lone.        

Having different perspectives towards life and ideas is what makes things become unusual. But misunderstanding others peoples ways doesn't mean that they are wrong. Viewing with different perspectives is what makes greatness, it's what drives innovation. To be great is to be misunderstood (Emerson 369). If every concept, every idea or belief is understood then how will there be greatness. In my current daily life, I strive to misunderstand people. It then opens my eyes to the endless perspectives that can be seen and achieved. They are a great person because they differ from others. Over time I have learned how to think for myself and if i'm misunderstood then I hope people will understand for what reason. I let my thoughts run free, even contradict each other. Genius lies in the pure freedom of the mind, and it is restrictive to expect yourself to be the same tomorrow as you are today.

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Understanding Of Emerson's Self Reliance. (2019, Dec 31). Retrieved March 3, 2024 , from
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