Lone Ranger | Teen Ink

Lone Ranger

May 20, 2008
By Anonymous

While reading Emerson’s Self Reliance, some may feel that his opinions sound harsh. Emerson believes that every man has an underlying need to make the best for himself that he can and that it is each man’s duty to fulfill this need. He says that one should not concern himself with others or their opinions, but do what he feels is best for himself at the time. Although some may read this and think that this idea sounds selfish, I read it and realized that I share many opinions with Emerson concerning self -reliance. Emerson’s ideas in Self Reliance can be helpful to leading a successful life, as I have found in both my work and social life.

First, one of Emerson’s main points trusts what your heart tells you to do as a man, despite what others want you to do or how they will view you. With college lives approaching fast, many seniors want to be done with high school and start partying. Some students start drinking with older kids, some start using tobacco, and others just develop a disdain for school. As a senior, I have been faced with several opportunities to drink or smoke with older kids, which many seniors feel gains them acceptance into this older crowd. I have also been encouraged by peers and friends to partake in these activities. In paragraph eleven, Emerson says, “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.” This is surely true in high school. Those who do not conform are often thought of as scared or not cool. I have always had an intuition of what is right for me to do and had no desire to please others if it meant doing otherwise. Although I may have lost some friends along the way, I have found out who are my true friends and have kept away from things that distract me from succeeding.

Also, Emerson places emphasis on independence from others. He declares, “That though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but though his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till.” Many high school students go to school and play a sport or hang out with friends after school. Also, summer and other breaks are usually full of fun. I have friends, but I have always felt the need to put work first, and have been working continuously since middle school. Although my parents do not need me to, I have become financially independent by saving my money, and now I am able to do what I want. I still have friends and make time to hang out with them, but work and school come first. I feel that this lifestyle agrees with Emerson’s opinions in Self Reliance.

Emerson’s Self Reliance illustrates his opinions on the importance of men trusting what they feel in their heart and doing what they must to be successful, independent, and nonconforming. By rising above the opinions of others and relying on instincts, one can clearly find ways to better himself. According to Emerson, this will lead to independence and success in life. Live your life to the fullest extent and you shall have no regrets.

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