From RWE’s “Self-Reliance.”
You up on your Transcendentalism? This is from Emerson, and I found it moving, today:
Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.
I feel like so many are caught in the bind of admiring, and seeking to emulate, what someone else has created. Seeing success, and thinking it takes only a set of procedures to accomplish it. A sequence, set and named, more than a bravely, unwittingly followed interior agenda, something moving you forward that can hardly be identified, quantified, or labeled.
What do we learn from teachers, except to ignore their lessons? Or, rather, to ignore the model they set, for it worked for them in the unique circumstances of a life’s evolution and is unlikely to yield similar results if tried in another context.
Oh, where have I been today, to be thinking these thoughts…mucking about in the hills of suburbia, where so many lives seem to emulate each other.