Ralph Waldo Emerson was a writer, thinker and philosopher who became the leading proponent of Transcendentalism, a movement that imbued the austere New England Unitarian tradition with elements of mysticism. In 1803, Emerson was born into a Unitarian family in Boston.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803—1882) In his lifetime, became the most widely known man of letters in America, establishing himself as a prolific poet, essayist, popular lecturer, and an advocate of social reforms. Emerson valued the following key aspects of transcendentalism: Equality, Individualism, Self-Reliance, Integrity, and Optimism. He demonstrated these values in his philosophical writings. It includes the well-known essays “Self-Reliance”, “The Over-Soul”, “Circles”, “The Poet”, and “Experience.” Together with “Nature”, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson’s most fertile period.
There is very famous saying of his which goes like this – “Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of the year. He is rich who owns the day and not let anxiety and fret invade it. Finish every day and get done with it to your best of capacity. Absurdities, Doubt and Blunders may crept in but forget them and move on. Tomorrow would be a new day…accept it with open arms… in high spirits with calm and serenity. HeTHe say’s this new day is too dear with its hopes and invitations that it is useless to encumber it with yesterday’s nonsense….or old moments of the past. Comfort yourself on difficult days, Smile when sadness intrudes, Become a rainbow to your dull clouds, Be a laughter on your sad lips, Be a sunset that soothes your sulking heart, Hug yourself when spirits sag, Be the beauty to your eyes, A friend who can brighten your being, Faith so that you can believe, Become your own confidence when in doubt, Courage to know yourself better, Be your Patience to accept the truth, and Love to complete your life.
One of the excerpt from a famous Emerson’s writings and my favourite of all says – “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and affection of the children; to earn the appreciation of the honest critics, to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty and find beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here …This is to have succeeded.”