Ralph Waldo Emerson was a famous American lecturer, philosopher, essayist, and poet. He was one of the leading figures of Transcendentalist movement. Together with Henry Hedge, George Putnam and George Ripley, Emerson founded the idea of Transcendentalism. He was considered as one of the greatest lecturers of his time and had given more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States during his lifetime.
He wrote on many topics such as individuality, freedom and the man’s ability to realize anything. For his lecturing and orating skills, Emerson became the leading voice of American intellectual at that time and oft-called “the Concord Sage”. His works influenced many thinkers and philosophers including Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, Friedrich Nietzsche and William James.
Interesting Facts About Ralph Waldo Emerson
- He Was Friends with Henry David Thoreau…and Often Provoked Him
- Coming from a long line of clergy, Emerson continued the family tradition by studying the ministry and gaining license in 1826 and becoming ordained in 1829.
- When his beloved wife died of tuberculosis in 1831, he lost his faith and resigned from the clergy.
- Though he lost his faith, he did not stop trying to find meaning, and he became a major name in the transcendentalist movement, even being known as “The Sage of Concord”.
- He exposed American Thinkers to the Writings and Philosophies of Asia and the Middle East.
Quotes By Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
- To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
- The earth laughs in flowers.
- What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
- To be great is to be misunderstood.
- Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
- To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
- Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
- All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
- Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.