Reading Emerson’s essay on self reliance has opened my consciousness to different ways of thinking over the last couple of weeks. I do find it hard to read Emerson’s work as the language is a challenge to understand sometimes but the messages he conveys are worth the effort.
This passage is a good example.
- ‘It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the worlds opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.’
What a great message to remember when we are making decisions about our lives. It is all too easy to follow someone else’s opinions and try to please others with your actions. It is just as easy to think you know the best for others around you and give your opinions to them. We often have opinions about others with little regard for what they may have as a vision for their future. It is true that 95% of those around us don’t have a clear vision with a plan to achieve it but that does not give us the right to impose our thoughts. Wouldn’t it be better to inspire them to form their own independent plan? Or even just know that they have the ability to form their own plan if they wished to?
That would seem to be the difference which I would like to help propagate far and wide. To inform people that they can do well for themselves without influencing them to do it my way. To inspire others to take a positive course towards their own dharma would be the most rewarding way to spend a life on this wonderful planet.
It is true that we all know what our dharma is but for some of us it is buried very deep. I personally didn’t realise that I had one until I understood that we all have that little voice deep inside us that knows so much about what we are and where we are heading. Hearing that voice and giving it the credit that it was due was my first step and although only a small step to some it was massive for me. I had given too much credit to other voices which seemed to know what I should do and how I should do it, they almost always had my best interest at heart but how could they possible now what my dharma was if I didn’t even know myself?
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.