What is the meaning of the following quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson?

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Eldo Emerson.

What does the above quote mean?

And, also explain how does this relate to our personality and identity?

8 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    that you live your right to be yourself, and strong enough not to be manipulated by society.

  • Joan
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/axmAa

    Emerson is suggesting that you, the reader, be a pioneer instead of a follower. "Do not follow where the path may lead..." This part suggests that a path has already been made by someone else. By following the path laid by someone else, you give up your individuality and the individual intellectual creativity that goes along with discovering a new way of doing things. "Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail." This portion of the quote challenges the reader to take risks in life and find new solutions to problems as well as more efficient ways of doing things. By doing this, you can set an example for other people. You will metaphorically leave a trail for others to follow, and thus become a true autonomous individual. Emmerson clearly demonstrates his favoring of the individualist versus the collectivist in this quote. individualism |ˌindəˈvijoōəˌlizəm| noun 1 the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant. • self-centered feeling or conduct; egoism. 2 a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control. collectivism |kəˈlektəˌvizəm| noun the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it. • the theory and practice of the ownership of land and the means of production by the people or the state.

  • 1 decade ago

    Are you you? Or are you modified to meet your friends expectations? When you sleep and when you wake...do you think or feel confict over an action or a time? If so, you aren't thinking for yourself or you are not being yourself and need to make strides to be the person you feel you should be when you close your eyes and think alone.

    Personality: Are you YOU or what others think you should be...

    Identity: If you met yourself in a crowd without sight and without all that which is typed above (and having only feeling) would you be able to pick yourself from the crowd?

  • imrt70
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The world around you, from ads to entertainment to politics, all try their best to sway the masses in a certain direction, usually for selfish reasons, I might add.....they're not thinking of you, they're thinking of them.

    To be yourself, opinionated, free-spirited, unbiased, and/or unaffected by subliminal and open suggestions, means that you have beaten the masses....something that very few people have the courage and/or willpower to accomplish. It is truly satisfying to know that no matter what anybody thinks, you know that you are the best you that you can be....because you say so.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    " To be true to your self" look out for yourself as is you don't no one else is.

    never try to be something you are not, don't put on a show for someone !

    Why I look at life you either like me the way I am or you don't.

    doesn't really matter to me. I know who I am and will try to help those who can't help themselves but if they don't meet me half way, then sorry I can't help you.

    I believe that Ralph is telling people the same thing, this old world is always changing around us, and its up to us where we find are self landing in it

  • 1 decade ago

    A corrupt society tries to make everybody corrupt.It takes agreat courage to stay otherwise.It would be an accomplishment if we manage to live honestly.To accomplish that feat, we must learn to stoop sometimes to conquer finally.

  • 1 decade ago

    being yourself and not be conformed of the world is a sign of courage and strength... something really noteworthy

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it means most people change and it is hard not to change your soul or what makes you who you are....not you interests or bank account or the physical but your essence or soul!

    That makes me want to watch my favorite movie "Fight Club"....which is about our soul and our generation.

    Source(s): I get around.
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