Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson – 31 January 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American philosopher, poet and essayist, was born in Boston on 25 May 1803. He is remembered for his philosophy of self-reliance and individual freedom – ideals that found expression in his own life and character. In the closing lines of his essay on “Self-Reliance” he wrote:

“A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of your principles.”

He also wrote:

“A more secret, sweet, and overpowering beauty appears to man when his heart and mind open to the sentiment of virtue. Then he is instructed in what is above him. He learns that his being is without bound; that to the good, to the perfect, his is born.”

Emerson’s last days were spent quietly at Concord, and he died on 27 Apri1 1882. He was buried in the beautiful Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, near the grave of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

For more of Emerson’s words of wisdom, visit:

For a large collection of quotations, visit:

For two of Emerson’s poems, visit:

"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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