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Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson I am writing this essay on the beliefs and thoughts of Ralph Waldo Emerson on the subjects of individuality, society, government, technology, and spirituality.
I think that Emerson believes that every person should be as much as individual as they can. Be who you are on the inside, don't try to be like everyone else. Don't worry about fitting in, if someone is a real friend, they will like you for who you are, real friends won't dump you for being yourself.
When Emerson says "Insist on yourself; never imitate." he is saying that you should act like you are on the inside; don't try to be like someone else. Be your own person and strive to be as different from everyone else as much as you can. Emerson said that your mind is your own, and no one can touch it. You can think what you want to think, and no one can change that. He describes this belief in the quote "Nothing is at last sacred, but the integrity of your own mind." People can mess with every other part of you, but your mind they can't reach.
Emerson is quoted as saying "My life is for itself and not for a spectacle." I think that he means that each and every person has their own life to live and that they shouldn't devote their time to worrying about what other people are doing. You have enough to worry about with what's going on in your own lives.
Emerson believes that when you express what you are feeling on the inside, most people will be able to relate with what you are feeling. He tells us this in the quote "Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense." Everyone will be able to understand what you are going through in one way or another.
Emerson really believes that society is bad, whichever way you look at it. Don't listen to what society has to say, do things on your own free will how you want to do them.
Society tells you how to act, how to dress, how to look, and how to live. You should do things how you feel that they should be done, not how society tells you to do them. Emerson says that "Society everywhere is in a conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members." Most of the time society's views and your views will not coincide with each other.
"I confess I am a little cynical on some topics, and when a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart, I have generally found the gravest and most useful citizens are not the easiest provoked to swell the noise, though they may be punctual at the polls." Here Emerson is saying that you should be suspicious when society tells you to be or act a certain way. Question why they are telling you to be or act this way. What is there hidden agenda?
Emerson believes that government is bad, which I, in some way, believe too, because we as human beings should be able to get along with each other without the government baby-sitting everyone that can't deal with their own problems, or that they are too greedy to help people in need. We shouldn't need a government to do these things for us, we should be able to do these for ourselves.
Emerson feels that "An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man." So he thinks that in every system of government that government becomes an extension of the person in charge. His or her own ideas become, in one way or another, the way of government.
"Don't trust children with edge tools, don't trust man, great God, with more power than he has, until he has learned to use that little better. What a hell should we make of the world if we could do what we would! Put a button on the foil till the young fencers have learned not to put each others eyes out." Here Emerson is explaining that that if anyone is given too much power too quickly, before they have the responsibility to handle that amount of power, they will abuse it. It is better
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