QUOTES: Wisdom & wit – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson_colourised_smaller

Ralph Waldo Emerson died 134 years ago today  (b. 25 May 1803 – d. 27 April 1882). Emerson was an American poet, essayist and lecturer. If you’ve become cynical and dejected about life, his little books may help reawaken your sense of wonder. Here are 10 of my favourite Emerson quotes:

10. “I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives.”

9. “When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying.”

8. “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

7. “I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from … My giant goes with me wherever I go.”

6. “Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

5. “The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.”

4. “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”

3. “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”

2. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

1. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Do you have any favourites of your own?


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