'We must be our own before we can be another’s' - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Matthew Brown Matthew Brown Nov 24, 2017 · 2 mins read
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the most prominent American thinkers of the 19th century, implored us to embrace individuality as a means of achieving true intimacy in relationships with others. The quote “We must be our own before we can be another’s” speaks to the importance of self-discovery and self-reliance in forming authentic connections with others.

Emerson believed that society too often encouraged conformity and discouraged personal expression. He believed that true happiness and fulfillment could only come when individuals were allowed to pursue their own unique paths and found contentment within themselves. Only then, could they fully embrace and appreciate the differences in others.

The quote “We must be our own before we can be another’s” reminds us that we must first know and understand ourselves before we can truly connect with another person. It highlights the importance of being true to oneself and cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness.

Without this foundation of self-knowledge and acceptance, individuals risk becoming overly dependent on their partners for validation and self-worth. In contrast, when both partners are secure in their own identities, they can approach their relationship as equals and celebrate their differences rather than seeking to mold each other into a certain ideal.

Emerson’s idea of self-discovery as a precursor to successful relationships resonates strongly today. In our fast-paced, interconnected world, it is easy to become lost in the expectations and demands of others. However, taking the time to develop a clear sense of self is critical to forming fulfilling connections with others.

In conclusion, Emerson’s quote “We must be our own before we can be another’s” serves as a reminder to prioritize self-discovery and self-reliance in our approach to relationships. By embracing our unique identities and cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness, we can form authentic connections with others and find true fulfillment in our lives.

Who is “Ralph Waldo Emerson”?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American poet, essayist, and philosopher. He is well-known for his role as a leader in the Transcendentalist movement, which emphasized the importance of individualism, nature, and spirituality. He also served as a mentor and inspiration to other famous American writers, such as Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. Some of his most famous works include “Self-Reliance,” “Nature,” and “The American Scholar.”

Are there any books about “Ralph Waldo Emerson”?

Yes, there are many books about Ralph Waldo Emerson. Some popular biographies include “Emerson: The Mind on Fire” by Robert D. Richardson Jr., “The Sage of Concord” by Richard Geldard, and “Emerson: The Lonely Scholar” by Joseph L. Blau. There are also collections of his essays and speeches, such as “Self-Reliance and Other Essays” and “The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

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Matthew Brown
Written by Matthew Brown
Living life to the fullest, one adventure at a time.