Emerson's Self-Reliance: Very ERE-Related Essay

Favorite quotations, etc.
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Post by gibberade »


^^Translated into modern-day English. Still well-written, but much more readable. Here is the original version: http://www.youmeworks.com/selfreliance.html
I found this a while ago, but sort of forgot about it. I shouldn't have, and I'm glad I've re-discovered it. It's truly one of my favorite pieces of writing. I really endorse what Emerson's thesis, self-reliance. Here are some aspects of his argument that come to mind:


being the black sheep

discarding failed ideas

avoiding conformity


action rather than talk


resilient to the opinions of others


living authentically

living in the present


cause-and-effect (vs luck)

technology does not improve lives
If it hasn't struck you already, these topics all relate to ERE. It would be a stretch to say the essay encompasses all aspects of ERE, but it's not hard to draw comparisons.
Any thoughts on the essay? Does Emerson go too far with his ideas of self-reliance? I don't think so, but some disagree.
First, it's not about being self-centered. Nor is he criticizing against inter-dependence, which is a fundamental part of life. Rather, he has harsh words for dependence.
Dependence on the opinions of others, on technology, on your vehicle, on the government, on your job, on your spouse on your parents, on your television, on societal values and so on. The solution lies in independence:
independence of thought

financially independent

independent action, regardless of what others think

independent of vehicles (bike instead)

independent of the health care system (prevention versus cure)

independent of economic cycles (FI)

autonomous action

and so on.
That's the relations I made to ERE, anyways.

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Post by smileyriles »

Thanks for posting that gibberade. This was something that I needed to read. I see my classmates all around me everyday drearily conforming within our university.....I have to resist :)!

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Post by hobbyfinder »

I truly agree with you about Emerson and I must add his wonderful quote about hobbies which is also good to contemplate on
“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.”Ralph waldo Emerson.

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