Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on World (71 Quotes)


    To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

    The world is full of judgment-days, and into every assembly that a man enters, in every action he attempts, he is gauged and stamped.

    The world is a divine dream, from which we may presently awake to the glories and certainties of day.

    The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.

    Hence, instead of Man Thinking, we have the bookworm. Hence, the book-learned class, who value books, as such not as related to nature and the human constitution, but as making a sort of Third Estate with the world and the soul. Hence, the restorers of readings, the emendators, the bibliomaniacs of all degrees....


    Men do what is called a good action, as some piece of courage or charity, much as they would pay a fine in expiation of daily non-appearance on parade. Their works are done as an apology or extenuation of their living in the world as invalids pay a high board. Their virtues are penances. I do not wish to expiate, but to live my life is for itself, and not for spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. I ask for primary evidence that you are a man, and refuse this appeal from a man to his actions.

    It is greatest to believe and to hope well of the world, because he who does so, quits the world of experience, and makes the world he lives in

    If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbor, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door. Mrs. Yule stated in The Docket, Feb. 1912, that she copied this in her handbook from a lecture delivered by Emerson. The mouse-trap quotation was the occasion of a long controversy, owing to Elbert Hubbards claim to its authorship.

    Those are a success who have lived well, laughed often, and loved much who have gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of children, who have filled their niche and accomplished their task, who leave the world better than they found it, whether by a perfect poem or a rescued soul who never lacked appreciation of the earth's beauty or failed to express it who looked for the best in others and gave the best they had.

    For the world was built in order And the atoms march in tune Rhyme the pipe, and Time the warder, The sun obeys them, and the moon.

    Government has come to be a trade, and is managed solely on commercial principles. A man plunges into politics to make his fortune, and only cares that the world shall last his days.

    Life is a train of moods like a string of beads and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.

    The poet, the painter, the sculptor, the musican, the architect, seek each to concentrate this radiance of the world on one point, and each in his several work to satisfy the love of beauty which stimulates him to produce.


    Here is the world, sound as a nut, perfect, not the smallest piece of chaos left, never a stitch nor an end, nor a mark of haste, or botching, or a second thought but the theory of the world is a thing of shreds and patches.


    Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force - that thoughts rule the world.


    Moral qualities rule the world, but at short distances, the senses are despotic


    The world is upheld by the veracity of good men they make the earth wholesome. They who lived with them found life glad and nutritious. Life is sweet and tolerable only in our belief in such society.

    We rail at trade, but the historian of the world will see that it was the principle of liberty that it settled America, and destroyed feudalism, and made peace and keeps peace that it will abolish slavery.

    His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong.

    Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.

    Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.

    Plants are the young of the world, vessels of health and vigor but they grope ever upward towards consciousness the trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment, rooted in the ground.

    There are not in the world at any one time more than a dozen persons who read and understand Platonever enough to pay for an edition of his works yet to every generation these come duly down, for the sake of those few persons, as if God brought them written in his hand.


    When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.



    More Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - World - Life - Nature - Mind - Wisdom & Knowledge - Love - Books - Time - Truth - Friendship - Thought & Thinking - God - Work & Career - Sense & Perception - People - Literature - Beauty - Actions - View All Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotations

    Related Authors


    William Wordsworth - Ralph Waldo Emerson - Horace - Sophocles - Ovid - Octavio Paz - Novalis - Max Jacob - Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Andrew Lang


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