Words matter. These are the best Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.
Our best thoughts come from others.
Good men must not obey the laws too well.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Every fact is related on one side to sensation, and, on the other, to morals. The game of thought is, on the appearance of one of these two sides, to find the other: given the upper, to find the under side.
We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases.
It is the quality of the moment, not the number of days, or events, or of actors, that imports.
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
The value of a principle is the number of things it will explain.
The years teach much which the days never know.
What you are comes to you.
Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.
Nature hates calculators.
Every spirit makes its house, and we can give a shrewd guess from the house to the inhabitant.
Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul. Strictly speaking, therefore, all that is separate from us, all which Philosophy distinguishes as the ‘Not Me,’ that is, both nature and art, all other men and my own body, must be ranked under this name, ‘Nature.’
The martyr cannot be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame; every prison a more illustrious abode.
Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes.
The intuition of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. These laws execute themselves. They are out of time, out of space, and not subject to circumstance.
Great men or men of great gifts you shall easily find, but symmetrical men never.
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are.
We must be our own before we can be another’s.
Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.
No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.
Revolutions go not backward.
Good is positive. Evil is merely privative, not absolute: it is like cold, which is the privation of heat. All evil is so much death or nonentity. Benevolence is absolute and real. So much benevolence as a man hath, so much life hath he.
As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.
In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.
There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
There is no chance and anarchy in the universe. All is system and gradation. Every god is there sitting in his sphere.
We see God face to face every hour, and know the savor of Nature.
What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us.
Always do what you are afraid to do.
A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.
People only see what they are prepared to see.
Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests, and mines, and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.
Who hears me, who understands me, becomes mine, a possession for all time.
A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Nature is the incarnation of thought. The world is the mind precipitated.
The reason why men do not obey us, is because they see the mud at the bottom of our eye.
People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
Every man I meet is in some way my superior.
Happy is the hearing man; unhappy the speaking man.
Power and speed be hands and feet.
Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.
Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He is by constitution expensive, and needs to be rich.
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.
We acquire the strength we have overcome.
Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults.
Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.
Nothing external to you has any power over you.
Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Without electricity, the air would rot.
Speak the truth, and all things alive or brute are vouchers, and the very roots of the grass underground there, do seem to stir and move to bear you witness.
Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.
Every artist was first an amateur.
Getting old is a fascination thing. The older you get, the older you want to get.
Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers.
Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with open eye the mystery of the soul. Drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it and had his being there. Alone in all history, he estimated the greatness of man.
The best effort of a fine person is felt after we have left their presence.
Great geniuses have the shortest biographies.
Men are what their mothers made them.
America is another name for opportunity.
All diseases run into one, old age.
O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught.
We are wiser than we know.
If a man can… make a better mousetrap, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit.
Why need I volumes, if one word suffice?
The faith that stands on authority is not faith.
It is my desire, in the office of a Christian minister, to do nothing which I cannot do with my whole heart. Having said this, I have said all.
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
Children are all foreigners.
Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.
We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.
The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.
Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.
A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts.
Every burned book enlightens the world.
Genius always finds itself a century too early.
The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.
The smoothest curled courtier in the boudoirs of a palace has an animal nature, rude and aboriginal as a white bear.
The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
Manners require time, and nothing is more vulgar than haste.
Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.
The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
Only as far as the masters of the world have called in nature to their aid, can they reach the height of magnificence. This is the meaning of their hanging-gardens, villas, garden-houses, islands, parks, and preserves.