This quote, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, shows up in random places around my house depending on who needs it within their line of sight the most on any given day.
Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who was a leader in the Transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century. At its core, transcendentalism was about the inherent good in man and in nature.
The key tenets of Transcendentalism are that everything is a reflection of God and that people are basically good. Also that contemplating nature can allow you to transcend the real world and go to a higher, spiritual level. That individualism and self-reliance are better than following others or depending on tradition. And that a person’s true feelings and intuition are more valuable than book knowledge.
Other key figures in the movement were Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau (also said to have possibly written this quote), Margaret Fuller (the first woman to earn a living at full-time journalism) and John Muir (I just learned this about John Muir and it makes perfect sense since Muir Woods is my favorite place in the world.) Oh how I would love to have dinner with this group. Wow.
I am grateful to have had a wonderful discussion with my sons about the Transcendental movement earlier today– and frankly floored by their knowledge of it and beaming with pride because of their depth and compassion as human beings.
Also grateful to have these lovely words to remind me of the importance of perspective in this universe. Thanks for reading.