zaterdag 1 februari 2014

Ralph Waldo Emerson -- 2 februari 1827

ST. AUGUSTINE, February 2, 1827.
With a little thinking, passive almost amidst our sensations, and rounding our lives with a little sleep, we count off our days with a prodigal hand. The months depart, and soon I shall measure back my way to my own people. But I feel how scanty is the addition I have made to my knowledge or my virtue. Day by day I associate with men to whom my society yields no noticeable amount of advantage or pleasure. I have heard of heights of virtue and lives of philanthropy. I am cold and solitary, and lead a life comfortable to myself and useless to others. Yet I believe myself to be a moral agent of an indestructible nature, and designed to stand in sublime relations to God and to my fellow men; to contribute in my proper enjoyments to the general welfare. What then, young pilot, who by chart and compass pointest out to others the shoals they must shun and the haven they must seek art not thyself a castaway ? Will you say you have no call to more austere virtue than you daily exhibit? Have you computed the moral influences of this quiescence, this waking torpor of the soul and found them adequate to what may in equity be demanded of you? Young pilot! you dare not say Aye.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was een Amerikaans essayist en dichter en een van de invloedrijkste denkers van zijn tijd. Hij hield vrijwel zijn gehele leven een dagboek bij.

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