Observations on Emerson's Self-Reliance

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Observations on Self-Reliance "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles ." This quotation forms the closing two lines of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self Reliance". I am greatly enlightened by his ideas in this article. "Trust thyself" was his advice and many Americans listened. They not only listened in Emerson's lifetime, but his individualistic concepts have reverberated up to the present time. After reading the ideas expressed in "Self-Reliance", I have come to believe that self-reliance is the most important factor in my life. Emerson believes that a man should not be what he is not. "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide." If a man is envious of other people, he will ignore all merits of himself. If a man imitates other people, he will lose his identity - like suicide. It is common to find a woman like me envious of other people. I am jealous if a girl in the class is more beautiful than I. I am jealous if a classmate gets a higher score on tests. I am jealous if my neighbor has a better car. But as I always find out, when I praise the girl, people will say "you are beautiful, too"; when I praise the classmate, people will say "remember you got a higher score last time"; when I praise the car of the neighbor, people will say "he spent money that he did not have". There is always a "the better side" of myself, which I cannot see because it is hindered by my own jealousy. Imitation is the result of jealousy. When I was in high school, I tried to imitate a girl in my class because I thought she was pretty cool. I bought the same dress, the same shoes, had the same hair style, and tried to act the same way. After one month, I was considered the least cool person in the class. I did not get what I wanted, but instead, lost what I had already had. I was born in a Christian Chinese family in Beijing, China. Under the strict rules of my mother, I began learning piano and Kung-fu when I was six, and many other things other children did not learn. From then on, I was always told to be the best, and I always thought I was the best.
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