Continuing my ‘reminder to self‘ series this week, I remind myself of something that I’ve only recently begun to appreciate.

The Value Of Self Reliance

I’m a literature student – even if I came late to the party, doing my MA in Literature, several years after I got my Bachelors in Commerce and worked in a bank. But my love for language, drew me back to studying and reinventing myself career-wise.

But I digress.

I’m attempting to tell you how I discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson and his wonderfully wise works. One of these is Self-Reliance. In it he pushes the idea of every one thinking for themselves.

But he also talks of something which seems so relevant and urgent to our times and is a great reminder to me. Let me share this with you.

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love all those words. But the last sentence just pops out to remind me once again that I don’t need to work on being popular – I just need to be myself.

There was a time that I had a hard time being alone. Solitude made me uncomfortable. These days, I consciously seek it. I’ve discovered and learned to love my introverted self. I’ve learned to motivate myself and not wait for others to make me feel good about me.

Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty. But learn to be happy alone. Rely upon your own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people. -Thomas Davidson

Do you value self-reliance?


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