Ralph Waldo Emerson - Quotes

There are 246 quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson at 95quotes.com. Find your favorite quotations and top quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson from this hand-picked collection about faith, fear, money, peace, truth, trust, wisdom, learning, beauty, friendship. Feel free to share these quotes and sayings on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr & Twitter or any of your favorite social networking sites.

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

We must be our own before we can be another's.

We must be our own before we can be another's.

The earth laughs in flowers.

The earth laughs in flowers.

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. ---->>>

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.

Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.

Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

The first wealth is health.

The first wealth is health.

Always do what you are afraid to do.

Always do what you are afraid to do.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. ---->>>

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Men are what their mothers made them.

Men are what their mothers made them.

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. ---->>>

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.

Beauty without expression is boring.

Beauty without expression is boring.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

It is not length of life, but depth of life. ---->>>

The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.

The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. ---->>>

Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole. ---->>>

We aim above the mark to hit the mark.

We aim above the mark to hit the mark.

It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. ---->>>

The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck. ---->>>

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else. ---->>>

Earth laughs in flowers.

Earth laughs in flowers.

In the morning a man walks with his whole body; in the evening, only with his legs.

In the morning a man walks with his whole body; in the evening, only with his legs.

Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying. ---->>>

All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.

All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.

Doing well is the result of doing good. That's what capitalism is all about. ---->>>

The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.

The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough. ---->>>

Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.

Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.

Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.

Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.

Every wall is a door. ---->>>

Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well. ---->>>

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. ---->>>

Money often costs too much.

Money often costs too much.

To be great is to be misunderstood.

To be great is to be misunderstood.

Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors. ---->>>

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way. ---->>>

A man in debt is so far a slave.

A man in debt is so far a slave.

Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret. ---->>>

We are wiser than we know. ---->>>

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. ---->>>

The reward of a thing well done is having done it. ---->>>

Every artist was first an amateur. ---->>>

We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.

We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.

Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force - that thoughts rule the world. ---->>>

God enters by a private door into every individual.

God enters by a private door into every individual.

The years teach much which the days never know.

The years teach much which the days never know.

There are other measures of self-respect for a man, than the number of clean shirts he puts on every day. ---->>>

Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.

Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. ---->>>

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. ---->>>

Men admire the man who can organize their wishes and thoughts in stone and wood and steel and brass. ---->>>

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait. ---->>>

We are symbols, and inhabit symbols. ---->>>

Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests, and mines, and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors. ---->>>

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. ---->>>

A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams.

A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams.

It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, 'always do what you are afraid to do.' ---->>>

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples. ---->>>

I have thought a sufficient measure of civilization is the influence of good women. ---->>>

The martyr cannot be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame; every prison a more illustrious abode. ---->>>

We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state. ---->>>

Great men or men of great gifts you shall easily find, but symmetrical men never. ---->>>

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved. ---->>>

In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine. ---->>>

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.

Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed. ---->>>

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. ---->>>

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all. ---->>>

We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases. ---->>>

Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant. ---->>>

When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.

When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.

Hitch your wagon to a star.

Hitch your wagon to a star.

Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are. ---->>>

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.

The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.

The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.

Science does not know its debt to imagination.

Science does not know its debt to imagination.

One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. ---->>>

Some books leave us free and some books make us free.

Some books leave us free and some books make us free.

For every benefit you receive a tax is levied. ---->>>

In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed. ---->>>

Every fact is related on one side to sensation, and, on the other, to morals. The game of thought is, on the appearance of one of these two sides, to find the other: given the upper, to find the under side. ---->>>

A great man is always willing to be little. ---->>>

Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.

Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. ---->>>

We are always getting ready to live but never living. ---->>>

A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends. ---->>>

If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare. ---->>>

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. ---->>>

We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse. ---->>>

There is creative reading as well as creative writing. ---->>>

People only see what they are prepared to see. ---->>>

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. ---->>>

Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence. ---->>>

Power and speed be hands and feet.

Power and speed be hands and feet.

A man is what he thinks about all day long. ---->>>

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character. ---->>>

All mankind love a lover. ---->>>

Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them. ---->>>

A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace. ---->>>

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. ---->>>

The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit.

The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit.

Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.

Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.

What you are comes to you. ---->>>

Our best thoughts come from others.

Our best thoughts come from others.

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. ---->>>

The best effort of a fine person is felt after we have left their presence. ---->>>

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing. ---->>>

Manners require time, and nothing is more vulgar than haste. ---->>>

There is an optical illusion about every person we meet. ---->>>

America is another name for opportunity. ---->>>

If you would lift me up you must be on higher ground. ---->>>

Reality is a sliding door. ---->>>

Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one's self? ---->>>

A good indignation brings out all one's powers. ---->>>

Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words. ---->>>

We acquire the strength we have overcome.

We acquire the strength we have overcome.

Make yourself necessary to somebody. ---->>>

Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural. ---->>>

The search after the great men is the dream of youth, and the most serious occupation of manhood. ---->>>

I have no hostility to nature, but a child's love to it. I expand and live in the warm day like corn and melons. ---->>>

The ancestor of every action is a thought. ---->>>

Beauty is an outward gift, which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused. ---->>>

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. ---->>>

There is always safety in valor. ---->>>

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us. ---->>>

There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.

There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. ---->>>

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. ---->>>

A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.

A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams.

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams.

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. ---->>>

Getting old is a fascination thing. The older you get, the older you want to get. ---->>>

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.

Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail. ---->>>

We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body. ---->>>

Happy is the hearing man; unhappy the speaking man. ---->>>

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching. ---->>>

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. ---->>>

Little minds have little worries, big minds have no time for worries. ---->>>

Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day. ---->>>

As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.

As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.

Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact. ---->>>

Men's actions are too strong for them. Show me a man who has acted, and who has not been the victim and slave of his action. ---->>>

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.

The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.

The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.

Nothing external to you has any power over you. ---->>>

Pictures must not be too picturesque. ---->>>

All diseases run into one, old age.

All diseases run into one, old age.

Every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It cannot have both. ---->>>

Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual.

Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual.

Every actual State is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well. ---->>>

Every man I meet is in some way my superior. ---->>>

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. ---->>>

There are as many pillows of illusion as flakes in a snow-storm. We wake from one dream into another dream. ---->>>

Every man supposes himself not to be fully understood or appreciated. ---->>>

If the tongue had not been framed for articulation, man would still be a beast in the forest. ---->>>

Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures. ---->>>

The highest revelation is that God is in every man. ---->>>

Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He is by constitution expensive, and needs to be rich. ---->>>

Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain. ---->>>

Genius always finds itself a century too early.

Genius always finds itself a century too early.

The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers. ---->>>

It is the quality of the moment, not the number of days, or events, or of actors, that imports. ---->>>

People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never. ---->>>

Wisdom has its root in goodness, not goodness its root in wisdom. ---->>>

Good men must not obey the laws too well. ---->>>

It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy, that the world owes the world more than the world can pay. ---->>>

The sum of wisdom is that time is never lost that is devoted to work. ---->>>

Fine manners need the support of fine manners in others. ---->>>

Every burned book enlightens the world. ---->>>

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff. ---->>>

Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.

Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.

Who hears me, who understands me, becomes mine, a possession for all time. ---->>>

As we grow old, the beauty steals inward. ---->>>

Truth is handsomer than the affectation of love. Your goodness must have some edge to it, else it is none. ---->>>

Every hero becomes a bore at last. ---->>>

Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults. ---->>>

No great man ever complains of want of opportunity. ---->>>

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes. ---->>>

Great hearts steadily send forth the secret forces that incessantly draw great events. ---->>>

There is a tendency for things to right themselves. ---->>>

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.

It is my desire, in the office of a Christian minister, to do nothing which I cannot do with my whole heart. Having said this, I have said all. ---->>>

No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.

No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.

Every known fact in natural science was divined by the presentiment of somebody, before it was actually verified. ---->>>

It is a fact often observed, that men have written good verses under the inspiration of passion, who cannot write well under other circumstances. ---->>>

Children are all foreigners. ---->>>

Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. ---->>>

I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it. ---->>>

People disparage knowing and the intellectual life, and urge doing. I am content with knowing, if only I could know. ---->>>

The value of a principle is the number of things it will explain. ---->>>

There is a blessed necessity by which the interest of men is always driving them to the right; and, again, making all crime mean and ugly. ---->>>

There is no chance and anarchy in the universe. All is system and gradation. Every god is there sitting in his sphere. ---->>>

What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us. ---->>>

O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught. ---->>>

People that seem so glorious are all show; underneath they are like everyone else. ---->>>

The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting. ---->>>

Mysticism is the mistake of an accidental and individual symbol for an universal one. ---->>>

The reason why men do not obey us, is because they see the mud at the bottom of our eye. ---->>>

Give a boy address and accomplishments and you give him the mastery of palaces and fortunes where he goes. ---->>>

In every society some men are born to rule, and some to advise. ---->>>

A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts. ---->>>

As soon as there is life there is danger. ---->>>

When we quarrel, how we wish we had been blameless. ---->>>

We see God face to face every hour, and know the savor of Nature. ---->>>

Why need I volumes, if one word suffice? ---->>>

Every spirit makes its house, and we can give a shrewd guess from the house to the inhabitant. ---->>>

The wave of evil washes all our institutions alike. ---->>>

We do not yet possess ourselves, and we know at the same time that we are much more. ---->>>

Every sentence spoken by Napoleon, and every line of his writing, deserves reading, as it is the sense of France. ---->>>

Nature hates calculators. ---->>>

Great geniuses have the shortest biographies. ---->>>

God screens us evermore from premature ideas. ---->>>

If a man can... make a better mousetrap, the world will make a beaten path to his door. ---->>>

The method of nature: who could ever analyze it? ---->>>

Cause and effect are two sides of one fact. ---->>>

Revolutions go not backward. ---->>>

The value of a dollar is social, as it is created by society. ---->>>

There is more difference in the quality of our pleasures than in the amount. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: May 25, 1803
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Die: April 27, 1882
Occupation: Poet
Website:

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States (wikipedia)