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“Self-Reliance” By Pantakarn (Armmy) Pheralerdkid

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Growing up in the 21st Century expectations are thrust upon us from an early age. There is now more pressure than ever for a child to study hard in school, go to college, get a degree, and enter the work force all before the age of twenty-five. During the time that Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote Self-Reliance society was just starting to adopt this new idea. He says’ “the virtue in most request is conformity” meaning that every individual has the power within them to become their own person and pursue their own dreams aside from what society dictates of them. Emerson’s ” Self-reliance ” teaches us that being an individual comes from trusting yourself and being honest with the person you are inside; he was not afraid of what people thought and his goal was to bring other people to that state of mind. We all have our own opinions, different minds. Society has molded an idea of who you should be , society is leading us away from being self reliant. But since society’s goal’s are engrained inside us , we must learn to trust our own instincts as to what society tells us. Emerson states that ” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds … With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do”.

Emerson doesn’t mean that we live on a whim but that we should be introspective about our positions and ideals. We should not be the same position simply because it’s the one we have always taken. Emerson also points a fear of being misunderstood. We often fail to present or discuss our original thoughts and ideas in fear about being misunderstood. All of us go through life being misunderstood at least some of the time. How can we ever completely understand each other when we have all walked a different road, with different life experiences? Emerson says: ” 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.” So Emerson says over and over that its important for a person to be reliant on themselves and follow your intuition , knowing that you have found your own unique self , and fully trust it. The ability to trust your own thoughts, ” Nothing can bring your peace of mind but the triumph of principles. “

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