Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), the famous American Transcendentalist of the 19th century, was a visionary in the popularly dubbed era in American history known as “the American Renaissance.” This should be of no surprise, as Emerson himself can be considered a Renaissance man; not only was Emerson a philosopher, but he was—among other things—a naturalist, a poet, and a skilled writer. In his famous essay Self-Reliance, Emerson writes:
“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.”
If you have read my other blogs, you would know why I absolutely love this quote: Emerson was an advocate of individualism and encouraged us to find that divine spark within all of us. To put the above sentence into layman’s terms, Emerson is saying, “Whoever wants to be a man (which, not to single out males, can be interpreted as a mature individual) must march to the beat of his own drums despite the crowd.”
Note: I plan on writing a full post on American Transcendentalism in the future.