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Ralph Waldo Emerson, who went by his middle name “Waldo,” is one of the most widely known writers, lecturers, poets, and philosophers.
He left this earth 140 years ago, yet, his words are still referred to and quoted time and again.
He is one of my favorite writers to read, and I am fascinated by his wisdom and mysticism; he was a man way ahead of his time. As a Subtle Energy Medicine practitioner who lives a life devoted to intuition, I appreciate his encouragement to be at one with our inner voices, to take leaps from our hearts, and as he wrote, “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”
He was a thought leader when the world was craving renewed spiritual direction. I often lean into his words as I sense the world is craving similar at this very time. While time has marched on, his wisdom can still accurately bless us and encourage us.
In honor of his life, the following are 20 Emerson quotes to remind us in inspiration what his focus for our world was—inwardness, unity, and right action:
1. “Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”
2. “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
3. “He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.”
4. “The first wealth is health.”
5. “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.”
6. “Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about.”
7. “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”
8. “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”
9. “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
10. “To be great is to be misunderstood.”
11. “How much of human life is lost in waiting.”
12. “Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.”
13. “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”
14. “What your heart thinks is great, is great. The soul’s emphasis is always right.”
15. “Knowledge is the antidote to fear.”
16. “Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.”
17. “It is one of the blessings of old friends is that you can afford to be stupid with them.”
18. “The reward of a thing well done is having done it.”
19. “All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.”
Alas, if we can all take a moment to reflect on number 20:
“People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.”
With such chaos in our time, if we can take a moment to have an honest reflection of our opinion on our world, perhaps we can see one thing within us that is ready for change. And in turn, make the world a tad brighter today. Are you with me?
Happy Birthday, Waldo.