Some memorable quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
A man of genius is privileged only as far as he is genius. His dullness is as insupportable as any other dullness.
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.
As we grow old…the beauty steals inward.
Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.
Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.
Character is higher than intellect… A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.
Children are all foreigners.
Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints.
Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practicing every day while they live.
Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm.
Every hero becomes a bore at last.
Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Give all to love; obey thy heart.
God enters by a private door into every individual.
He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
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.
If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.