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Thinking in English : In someone else's words...

Posted by paa.kwesi on Sun, 12/30/2007 - 21:37

I received a link a few hours ago and was very pleased with what I read when I followed the link. It is a link to an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson and I think everyone should read it for that the spirit in which I wish the conversations on this forum were conducted, ideas evaluated and actions undertaken.

This is the link: http://www.emersoncentral.com/selfreliance.htm . Unfortunately the English is archaic and therefore hard to follow so I read a modern English translation from http://www.youmeworks.com/self_reliance_translated.html before going back to tackle the original writing. The obvious paradox is that I am using someone else's words to hopefully convince you, but unfortunately this is the way I have found works with my fellow citizens--they trust external authority and opinion more than their own, would rather speak English than Ga, ... ok, ok, we've been there before...

End of my words...

Self-Reliance is an essay written by American Transcendentalist philosopher and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was first published in his 1841 collection, Essays: First Series. It contains the most solid statement of one of Emerson's repeating themes, the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his or her own instincts and ideas. -- Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Reliance

"Do not be hesitant. Do not cower in shame or fear. Don't quote some wise man of former ages. Say boldly what you perceive now."

"If you would release your fearful clinging to the wisdom of others and throw yourself on your own wits, you would instantly right yourself like a ship heeled over and suddenly becoming upright again. ... Your weakness was caused by your lack of confidence in your own wisdom."

"... do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly .."

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; ..."

Afehyia pa!


Comments

in agreement

I had the chance to read Self-Reliance in high school and enjoyed it because I found that a lot of the things I thought and felt were expressed in it, especially the parts about society "advancing," imitation, and living up to others' expectations. Unfortunately, Africans, and much of the non-White world, are too busy trying to imitate others rather than working on what is their own.