That intuition must be first accepted by the person holding it, or else he or she risks living to another’s wishes. Emerson examines this trend early in his essay. As he begins the passage, Emerson first praises the nonconformists for not needing the guidance to understand their own worth. He writes to the others, “Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world” (Emerson n.pag.). Instead of offering one uniform definition, Emerson sets the meaning of life as dependent on the individual asking. Yet, despite each life being inherently different, all should start out essentially the same, with people accepting themselves for whom they are. They may not literally gain the unwavering support, referred here as the “suffrage of the world,” but those individuals do gain the self-confidence to disregard public opinion. This belief in themselves allows them to live their own lives wit...
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...ust grow independently to enjoy the world.
A meaningful life, much like the self, has no typical definition, basing its success solely on people’s instincts. Their intuition should vary with their friends’ or their families’, but it should also fulfill them in ways that other combined desires cannot. This unique print on the world ought to be defended from the pressures of society and authority figures, which can both attempt to squander a person’s moral compass for their own agenda. Ironically, in society’s attempt to define individuals’ ambitions for them, it weakens its own foundation: the people themselves. Society is started and shaped by the uniqueness of its people. It might as well start appreciating their citizens for whom they are individually. Maybe, then, will those people start doing it for themselves, even if they all are really just molecules of carbon.
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