The Theme of Self Reliancr

The Theme of Self-Reliance
Throughout Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance”, he vigorously encourages people to start living through his theory of self-reliance.   What he means by this is that people need to start living their lives through their true personalities and not through others.   He believes that much of our society has become consistent in its ideas and that this consistency has destroyed the individualism of many people.   At the idea of conformity, Emerson exclaims, “that imitation is suicide. . .” (2). He hates that most of society lives their lives through ideas and sayings that are not true to their selves or the way that they really think, and he views these kinds of lives as wasted ones.   Ideally, he wants people to stop putting so much weight into ideas that are not theirs and for those same people to start living their own life and formulate their own opinions.
In order for our world to start being “self-reliant”, Emerson believes that we first need to begin trusting ourselves.   He explains that we should “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you. . .” (2) and then do something with it.   He believes that we should carry out our everyday lives the same way that we did when we were children.   For example, when children are very young, they live their life through spontaneity and impulse.   They are not trying to conform to any group or trying to gain anyone’s approval, they are just trusting their selves and being their true soul.   The main thing that keeps our society from acting spontaneously and truthfully like an infant does, is the fact that we are scared to be different.   Emerson says, “Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage” (9).   What he means by this is that as we grow up, we become too scared to stray away from conformity.   So instead of actually being original and revealing our true selves, we quote some old saying that we feel the...