Born on this day in Boston, Massachusetts, philosopher and Transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) believed redemption could be found in one's own soul and in the heart of intuition.
"If a man plant himself indomitable on his instincts," he said. "The world will come round to him."
A Unitarian minister for three years, he left after disagreeing with the church's doctrine. Like Thoreau and Carlyle, Emerson turned to Transcendentalism, which looked to Nature for spiritual unity.
"God enters by a private door into every individual," he said.
In his major essays Nature (1836) and Self-Reliance (1841), Emerson celebrated the individual and independent spirit. He believed in the power and truth of self-examination and the unending beauty of nature and mankind.
He said, "Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other."
In life--the joy, loss, and grace of life-- there is higher knowledge and revelation in all things. Just look and reflect, with humility and value.
"A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us," he wrote in celebration.
More EMERSON Quotations
There is value in every one you encounter.