Many of us have a fascination with quotes, and how they relate to our lives. We (AOT) have numerous favorite quotes as well. Following is an interpretation of one of my favorites.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
At face value, this quote is simple enough to understand. However, it may be rewarding to dig in further, and analyze a possible deeper message.
Firstly, what does it mean to be yourself?
Many confuse who we truly are with our external identity: appearance, gender, age, job title, how many friends and acquaintances we have, and the items we possess. Presumably, as a transcendentalist, Emerson would claim that these qualities have very little to do with who you truly are.
What would your life be like if you could pursue your truest passions? Do you know what they are? What if external qualities no longer mattered to greater society?
Emerson, like Einstein, was dedicated to understanding the workings of nature. They likely learned a lot about themselves in that process.
It is self evident that we are endlessly bombarded with ideologies, opinions, advertisements, and entertainment. Over-stimulation of the senses are a daily occurrence, and a constant stream of persuasion tactics. It’s no wonder we have such rates of anxiety today, unfortunately.
Emerson might be telling us, when we are pulled in every direction, it becomes easy to lose ourselves in all the “noise”. Which makes knowing yourself, truly one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding accomplishments.
The words of extraordinary thinkers can have an impact on us. There are times we cannot deny the thoughts and emotions that surface when reading them.
Do you have a favorite quote, a poem, story, or song? Feel free to share it with us. Thank you kindly for reading, wishing you endless empowering thoughts :)