The Disapproval of the World
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Emerson
“Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater.”
“The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.”
Society will try to make you conform. People are more comfortable with what they are familiar with. They will tell you what you should be or what you can’t do. Don’t conform, or else you will lose your soul. You will lose your originality and creativity.
“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind,” Emerson wrote. “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it,” he added. Rely on yourself.
You think you cannot change the world? Many who did thought so, too. And then they just did it anyway.
Conformity, however, will not lead to greatness. Conformity “scatters your force.” Conformity turns your true expression into mediocrity.
If you join a crowd, be careful. They will lock you into one perspective or set of beliefs that may blind you to the truth.
You do not exist to please others. You are here to live. And you don’t need anyone’s approval for that.
When you are alone, it is easy to be yourself. But keeping your solitary independence when among others is much more difficult.
Trust yourself. Don’t concern yourself with what you said in the past. Set yourself free. Learn and grow every day. If you always try to be consistent, you will block that new creation that is trying to come out of you.
And if you are misunderstood, so be it. All great souls have been misunderstood. At least you had the courage to be the architect of your own life, and see the world through your own honest eyes.
Defy the status quo. Heroes of the past stayed true to themselves. They took action against popular resistance. Therefore, be indifferent to circumstances, opinions or authority.
Don’t be afraid. Stand for who you are. Stand for something.
Extraordinary people often began as ordinary people. But they decided to take matters into their own hands. They broke free of conformity.
You don’t need to rely on dogmas. You don’t need to rely on anyone telling you what is that you want. Instead of quoting someone of the past, say boldly what you perceive now. “If we live truly, we shall see truly,” wrote Emerson.
Don’t follow anyone else’s path. Create your own path.
Most people are passive. They lack purpose and complain. Few people have guts and character. Why?
These people conform. And by conforming they lose their originality. They fear failure. That is the wrong attitude. Embrace failure.
...BE TRUE TO YOURSELF! William Shakespeare, perhaps the most extraordinary writer who ever lived, includes some magnificent philosophical truths in his work. Brilliantly constructed, his world-renowned play, Hamlet, demonstrates his excellence. When reading it, I felt privileged to read such beautifully written language, and choosing my favorite quote was difficult. In the beginning of the play, Laertes prepares to go to France. Naturally, his father Polonius gives him some special words of advice before he leaves, “[t]his above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as night the day/ Thou canst not then be false to any man” (I.ii.84-86). If Laertes is honest with himself his father believes he won’t misrepresent himself to others, and he will be a true gentleman. Not only is this quote pleasurable reading, it is entirely truthful. Lying and cheating are two violations of this truth that I’ve witnessed frequently. For example, English has always been one of my weaker subjects because I’m not a very efficient reader. Even so, I study hard for my tests and often get a decent result. However, several others, whose English skills are also relatively weak, choose to cheat, there by obtaining a grade equal to or higher than my own. I could easily do this as well—leaving more time to sleep and devote to soccer—but not while being true to myself. After...