Evaluate Before Following : Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson : 031

Continuing our discussion of “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“Thus all concentrates: let us not rove; let us sit at home with the cause. Let us stun and astonish the intruding rabble of men and books and institutions, by a simple declaration of the divine fact. Bid the invaders take the shoes from off their feet, for God is here within. Let our simplicity judge them, and our docility to our own law demonstrate the poverty of nature and fortune beside our native riches.”


I had to go out to Google to get an idea of what the hell this paragraph was talking about. It seems that it’s about worrying about your own stuff, and only your own stuff. Trust the ideas that are right for you. When a new one comes along, evaluate it according to your own values. Don’t just follow it blindly because it’s something that others say you should do, or even because your own inner critic tells you to.

But don’t just reject ideas either. Let them “take their shoes off” and stay a while. But once your “simplicity judge[s] them” based on your “native riches”, if they aren’t a good fit with your life, kick the fuckers out.

[thanks to The Simple Dollar and Quizlet for the information about this passage]

Thoughts? Feel free to drop them in the comments.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.