A Few Good Quotes

A Few Good Quotes

I’m taking some time off to catch up on the things I postpone when I’m writing a lot—everything from filing to shopping to down time and fun.

Meanwhile, here are some quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with questions to think about.

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

  • When have you marched to your own drummer, though others were trying to make you dance to their tune?
  • What deters you from being yourself?
  • Are you “going along” with anything now that makes you feel unlike yourself?
  • How about the flip side—have you ever bucked the system, then, wished you hadn’t?

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

  • With whom do you feel safe being stupid?
  • How might you help a friend feel safe being stupid around you?

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.”

  • What are some words and sentences you will put in your bible?
  • What have you said that you wish others would put in their bibles?

I hope you all enjoyed mulling over these quotes and questions, and I’d love to hear some of your responses.


  1. Dan Benson

    To paraphrase the last question: “What have I said that others might be willing to put in their bible?” I have a couple of thoughts that I’ve tried to live my life by over the past 50 years or so that I would like to share.

    Sometime in the mid seventies I made the observation that we appear to live in a left brain world where the better we do in our left brain in terms of speech, writing, math and logic the better off we are generally. fsz we experience a lot of encouragement to spend all our time working in our left brains, or most of us do. There are exceptions of course, such as artists and musicians. Meditation, it seems to me, is a technique that allows us to spend time in our right brains, experiencing non-linear, non-logical, holistic and artistic extra-verbal living that makes us into more complete people.

    I also during this time came to believe that I have three main components to my existence, the intellectual, the emotional and the spiritual. The intellectual component is satisfied through reading interesting books, articles and of course now, blogs such as the one you write, Margaret. The emotional component of my life is satisfied through relationships and I believe is most stimulated and satisfied when I can help others. The spiritual component is, for me, related to the mysterious, the puzzling, the inexplicable, the religious. Only by keeping these three parts of my being in balance can I maintain a sense of well being as a whole person.

    OK. Enough pontificating.

    • Thanks so much, and sorry a comment-notice glitch delayed my receiving this comment. You are not pontificating. I love comments that show others are really thinking about something I have written.

  2. Julia Harris

    I find myself dancing to others’ tune when I don’t know what my own tune is. This has inspired me to start listening!

  3. Thanks, Margaret. Your first quote-be yourself-is important to me. I have defied convention pretty much all my life. I think my father taught me to do this. I have also encouraged our children to do the same, sometimes to the chagrin of my husband who was taught differently. My second book reflects on this difference in how we raise children.

    • And you have made a real difference marching to your own drummer. Sorry tech issue prevented me from seeing this comment sooner.

  4. I love the notion of making our own Bible. And I use the capital B intentionally, because any book we create that is innately our own thoughts, feelings, beliefs and credos deserves to exist in our minds as worthwhile and worthy of dissemination.

    By sharing our worthiest thoughts we can spread ideas for betterment of the human condition despite others who foster schemes that deprave.

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