Emersons Aphorisms

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Have you ever had a pair of shoes cherished so much that you were afraid to run the risk of wearing them, for fear of them getting scuffed, but by the time you wear them their too small? The aphorism by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “We are always getting ready to live, but never living.” is still valid today. It is often that we prepare to live rather than living instead. Often people are unwilling to take opportunity, Emerson tries to show this in his aphorism. Due to the risks involved, people sometimes miss their chance at opportunities. Just like the kid unwilling to wear his shoes for fear of scuffing them, we are often caught in the same struggle between risk and desire. The kid desires to wear, and to be seen in his new shoes. But the risk of scuffing his new shoes outweighs wearing them, in his mind. People often do not realize what they’ve missed because of risk involved, until its too late. Finally the little kid decides he’s willing to accept the risk of scuffing his shoes, but by the time he tries to slip his feet into the little shows he realizes he’s outgrown them and they’ll no longer fit. Disgruntled and distraught, the kid wants to wear the shoes more than anything now that he can’t wear them. Emerson hints that we should take opportunities as they come; and never hide in the face of risk. Emerson’s aphorism could also be interpreted as a plea to enjoy what you have now, rather than always strive for more. It is not uncommon to see a prominent member Tillman 2 of society spend the majority of their time working, rather than enjoying the wealth they have already acquired. Emerson is trying to say that we should stop and appreciate what we have, rather than spend our time trying to obtain more. After all, how can one fully enjoy what they have, when they are too busy trying to acquire more. Emerson hints that we should not spend our lives preparing for life rather than living life. Throughout our lives it’s common to see people with high goals, but never tackle them head on.
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