Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Insist on Yourself; Never Imitate"

I was reminded today why I choose to blog.  I was reminded by reading other blogs that I follow.  Each is unique.  Each shares the author's own notable, exceptional perspective of their world.  And I was inspired.  And I was grateful to be given the opportunity to have a glimpse into their lives, their minds, their hearts.

Isn't it remarkable how different we are from one another?  We may share very similar experiences, similar paths, similar circumstances; yet we process them with our own special brand of uniquity.  So why not have our own little website, our own personal URL that is filled with the things we love, the thoughts we think, the dreams we dream?

Lately I have become absorbed in an obscure book.  I stumbled upon it last summer, while it sat upon the shelf of a used book store in Ashland, Oregon.  My daughter, Miranda, and I were immersing ourselves in a literary weekend, replete with Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice on the stage of the Shakespearean Festival, a lovely old-fashioned room in a quaint little hotel, and a self-guided tour through the many old book stores that line Ashland's main street.

It is the kind of book that probably would be overlooked by my children when I am gone, as they sort through my faded and tired possessions.  Perhaps if I give it a little attention now, it will have more meaning and value to them when that fateful day eventually comes.  Perhaps instead of tossing it into the giveaway pile, one or more of them will realize that it was a favorite and seek to uncover for themselves the wealth of wisdom I am finding in its yellowed, cracking pages.

This one small, unpretentious book bears the title and the collection:  The Complete Essays and Other Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  There is a reason that Emerson is one of the most oft-quoted literaries; he has some amazing insights and the ability to express them with pith and power.  Picking up his book everyday is like clicking open his blog.  It is insightful, it is inspiring, and it gives the reader a glimpse of his life, his mind, and his heart.

The underlying theme of his "complete essays and other writings" is the importance of being true to oneself.  He boldly states: "Insist on yourself; never imitate."  And with that, he promises:  "that which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.  No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it."

I am so thankful for what I learn from others.  But I will not try to imitate them.  I have decided to look for what I, alone, can do best, no matter how far and wide I must search.

You might consider "following" Emerson, too.


LeAnn said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts today. I can imagine how great that book is because I remember reading some of his works.
I love that there are no two individuals the same; one more evidance of a loving Heavenly Father. i loved your insights today.
Blessings to you!

sulekkha said...

You are unique and when different personalities unite on a common platform do we get an interesting perspective...let's rejoice in our unity in diversity