Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Photo of poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

Material for Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings were quite often taken from his well-organized and indexed personal journals, which he started while attending Harvard from age fourteen to his graduation at age eighteen. In the following two quotations he shares his belief that one’s past thoughts shouldn’t color one’s present or future thinking.

Image: Photo of poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you should begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

“Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.”

“I like not the man who is thinking how to be good, but the man thinking how to accomplish his work.”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-1882)

Scroll to Top