Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

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Ralph Waldo Emerson’s theory of individualism is a stance that emphasizes the importance of self-reliance for personal success. One of the main tenets of the theory claims that a genius is someone who perseveres with one’s plans regardless of others’ opinions and that nothing is sacred other than the integrity of one’s own mind. This essay will further discuss this tenet to support Emerson’s Individualism. People should live their lives without being burdened by the opinions of others. Emerson, in reference to babes, writes “their mind being whole, their eye is as yet unconquered... infancy conforms to nobody; all conform to it.” All of the greatest inventions came about from someone who did not conform to society. Society ends up conforming to those who follow their own dreams, as adults conform to the ways a child acts. In today's society, success is often measured by a person’s wealth, status and fame. However, no one should judge what success and failure is aside from the person it concerns. Very often society looks down on those who do not conform to its rigid structure. If a person does what everyone else is doing, who will innovate? Unsurprisingly, all those considered successful were those who broke out of the mold and followed their own vision. A genius is someone who perseveres with his or her plans regardless of the negativity around them. Thomas Edison’s teacher said that he was too stupid to learn anything. Although the number of attempts varies, there is a consensus that the lowest number of times Edison failed to create the light bulb was around 1,000. When asked how he felt about failing so much, Edison answered, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Emerson writes “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.” Whether or not a person is religious, the meaning holds true. No coward has ever been able to achieve anything great because cowards tend to...
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