What Lies Behind Us And What Lies Before Us Essay

Home • Manifesto • Essays • Solutions • Activism • Free eBooks • Quotations

Quotations from
Ralph Waldo Emerson


      American essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-XIXth century and was seen as a champion of individualism. He wrote his ideas first as lectures, then revised for publication. He published dozens of essays and delivered more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

Links are provided below for further investigation.
The references to WMail issues indicate quotes that appeared in the free monthly 'WMail' ezine
connected with the revolutionary "Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment" created by G.E. Nordell.

After WMail Issue #72 in October 2007, essays & quotations & news are being posted to the Dateline Chamesa blog

Ralph Waldo Emerson entry at Wikipedia

Ralph Waldo Emerson Page
at Spirit of America Bookstore

“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.”  {Issue #12}
•      •
“Any time is a good time if you know what to do with it.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny little matters
compared to what lies within us.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
“Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the
terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it.” (in "The Conduct of Life")  {Issue #49}
•      •
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail.”  {Issue #54 & blog 5/2008}
•      •
“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and
the affection of children; to find the best in others; to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived ... this is to have succeeded.”  {Issue #62}
•      •
“An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.”  {Issue #70}
•      •
“Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”  {blog 2/2008}
•      •
“Man was born to be rich or inevitably to grow rich through the use of his faculties.”  {blog 9/2008}
•      •
“You can never do a kindness too soon, because you will never know how soon
it will be too late.”  {blog 11/2008}
•      •
“The sense of being perfectly well-dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquility
which religion is powerless to bestow.”  {blog 11/2008}
•      •
“Every artist was first an amateur.”  {blog 6/2009}
•      •
“The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity.” (in 1838)  {blog 12/2009}
•      •
“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”  {blog 2/2010}
•      •
“Common sense is genius with its work clothes on.”  {blog 2/2010}
•      •
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate,
to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”  {blog 3/2010}
•      •
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”  {blog 3/2010}
•      •
“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Every great man is unique.”  {blog 4/2010}
•      •
“It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after
our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness
the independence of solitude.”  {blog 5/2010}
•      •
“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”  {blog 6/2010}
•      •
“All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminated by position
or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids,
act on the defensive.”  {blog 10/2010}
•      •
“Sorrow makes us all children again, destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest
know nothing.”  {blog 6/2011}
•      •
“Happiness is a perfume [that] you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on oneself.”  {blog 7/2011}
•      •
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”  {blog 11/2011}
•      •
“Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce?”  {blog 12/2011}
•      •
“People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.”
— in "Circles", 1841   {blog 1/2012}
•      •
“All diseases run into one, old age.”  {blog 5/2012}
•      •
“You will always find those who think [that] they know your duty better than you know it.”  {blog 10/2012}
•      •
“For every minute [that] you are angry, you lost 60 seconds of happiness.”  {blog 12/2012}
•      •
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”  {blog 7/2013}
•      •
“When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore
the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart.”  {blog 9/2013}
•      •
“There is one other reason for dressing well, namely that dogs respect it,
and will not attack you in good clothes.”  {blog 9/2013}
•      •
“All our progress is unfolding. Trust the instinct to the end.”  {blog 3/2014}
•      •
“Artists must be sacrificed to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting [that] they give.”  {blog 11/2014}
•      •
“The only person [that] you are destined to become is the person [that] you decide to be.”  {blog 4/2015}
•      •
“To know [that] even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”  {blog 7/2015}
•      •
“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”  {blog 7/2015}
•      •
“There is no way to success in art but to take off your coat, grind paint, and work like a digger on the railroad, all day and every day.”  {blog 8/2015}
•      •
“The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”  {blog 4/2016}
•      •
“I cannot remember the books [that] I’ve read any more than the meals [that] I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”  {blog 8/2016}
•      •
“Yet a man may love a paradox, without losing either his wit or his honesty.”  {blog 10/2016}
•      •
“Always do what you are afraid to do.”  {blog 1/2017}
•      •
“Each man has his own vocation: His talent is his call.”  {blog 2/2017}
•      •
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”  {blog 5/2017}

Emerson Quotations Not Yet Used on the Blog

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common."

"Imagination is not the talent of some men, but the health of every man."

top of this page

Albert Einstein Quotations Page
Abraham Lincoln Quotations Page
Ayn Rand Quotations Page
Benjamin Franklin Quotations Page
Bertrand Russell Quotations Page
Edward Abbey Quotations Page
Edward R. Murrow Quotations Page
Eric Hoffer Quotations Page
Ernest Hemingway Quotations Page
Friedrich Nietzsche Quotations Page
G.E. Nordell Quotations Page
George Bernard Shaw Quotations Page
H.L. Mencken Quotations Page
Henry David Thoreau Quotations Page
John Steinbeck Quotations Page
Mahatma Gandhi Quotations Page
Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotations Page
Mark Twain Quotations Page
Oscar Wilde Quotations Page
Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotations Page  «« you are here
Theodore Roosevelt Quotations Page
Thomas Jefferson Quotations Page
Wm. Faulkner Quotations Page
Winston Churchill Quotations Page

Magic Lantern's Great Movie Quotes Page

Books of Quotations Page at Working Minds

Ralph Waldo Emerson Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

back to WMail Quotations Pages   ••   back to Working Minds Philosophy homepage

Home > A Level > English > What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

You can download this essay for free. All you need to do is register and submit at least one of your essays to us.

Or you can purchase this essay for just $2 instantly without registering

Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1011 | Submitted: 02-Oct-2012
Spelling accuracy: 98.5% | Number of pages: 2 | Filetype: Word .doc

This is what the first 2 pages of the essay look like


This essay focuses on how what we think and why we think matters more than what others think of it or you.


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans – John Lennon’s famous words still ring fresh. The meaning of ‘life’ could not be put more simply yet efficiently. People indulge in discussions and the topic of ‘life’ is a much favoured one, yet we overlook the fact that even these small moments make up our life. We are always looking for things that can make us happy but we forget to peep into our souls and identify our knacks and flairs. In simpler words we are much into what can make us happy rather than what makes us happy.
Facebook and Twitter have become household terms but however much they might sound a cliché they do make perfect examples of things that ‘can’ make us happy. I am sceptical about how much of a hobby they make, they are better suited to being called pastimes. That they are experts in passing our time is doubtless but should they be given the status of a ‘hobby’? My definition of a hobby is something that makes you wonder and ponder voluntarily, like music, cinema, reading, photography, travelling and the list continues. Lord Tennyson, in his poem ‘Ulysses’, speaks of the famous traveller who is yearning to go back to his travelling years just to relive his experiences in company with people of different cultures or sometimes even in solitude. Ulysseses of today are lost in the crowd. Agreed, that travelling has become an expensive affair but people are also no less deserving of the blame. People with the proper financial aid do not want to travel and people who do have a knack for travelling do not always have the necessary financial aid. But in the film ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, Benjamin is shown to be working small-time jobs to earn money to fulfil his travelling needs. But now the crucial question arises: How many Benjamins do we have today?
Speaking of graver issues, it is interesting to note that few decisions in life are taken wholly and solely by us without succumbing to peer, parental or societal pressure. Every decision, starting from which stream to take up to which job to apply for depends on what people have thought for you or what they think of you. This constant pressure teaches us the morally correct lesson of living up to other people’s expectations but not the practically correct lesson of living up to our own expectations because regardless of the number of people who might mean well, it is us who needs to be satisfied with what we ...

Download this essay in full now!

Just upload at one of your essays to our database and instantly download your selection! Registration takes seconds

Or you can download this essay for $2 immediately without registering

Comments and reviews

Reviews are written by members who have downloaded the essay

No comments yet. If you download the essay you can review it afterwards.

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “What Lies Behind Us And What Lies Before Us Essay”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *