Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 April 27, 1882) was a famous American essayist and one of America's most influential thinkers and writers. more

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The more experiments you make the better.

I pay the schoolmaster, but it is the school boys who educate my son.
Out of love and hatred, out of earnings and borrowings and leadings and losses; out of sickness and pain; out of wooing and worshipping; out of traveling and voting and watching and caring; out of disgrace and contempt, comes our tuition in the serene and beautiful laws.
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.
Our strength grows out of our weakness.
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
Shallow people believe in luck and in circumstances; Strong people believe in cause and effect.
The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.
In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him, and in that I am his pupil.
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and new.
Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
If a man knew anything, he would sit in a corner and be modest; but he is such an ignorant peacock, that he goes bustling up and down, and hits on extraordinary discoveries.
People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.
Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries.
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.
Be true to your own act and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant to break the monotony of a decorous age.
To fill the hour -- that is happiness.
Great people are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
I didn't find my friends; the good Lord gave them to me.
The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
So far as a person thinks; they are free.
Fear always springs from ignorance.
There is nothing capricious in nature and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feel it.
The ship of heaven guides itself and will not accept a wooden rudder.
Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.
Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover.
Trust instinct to the end, even though you can give no reason.
The power of love, as the basis of a State, has never been tried.
He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.
Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting -- a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
By persisting in your path, though you forfeit the little, you gain the great.
The creation of a thousand forest in one acorn.
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.
The first thing a great person does, is make us realize the insignificance of circumstance.
In failing circumstances no one can be relied on to keep their integrity.
Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself.
We aim above the mark to hit the mark.
Our faith comes in moments... yet there is a depth in those brief moments which constrains us to ascribe more reality to them than to all other experiences.
Envy is the tax which all distinction must pay.
Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.
Nature is full of freaks, and now puts an old head on young shoulders, and then takes a young heart heating under fourscore winters.
The ancestor of every action is thought.
The highest compact we can make with our fellow is --Let there be truth between us two forevermore.
One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.
Men are what their mothers made them.
The next best thing to saying a good thing yourself, is to quote one.
The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.
Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.
The man who can make hard things easy is the educator.
The measure of a great leader, is their success in bringing everyone around to their opinion twenty years later.
Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.
At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
He is great who is what he is from nature, and who never reminds us of others.
The less government we have the better.
Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.