Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day Forty-Three: Emerson is a genius

"The scholar must be ready for bad weather, poverty, insult, weariness, repute of failure, and many vexations. He must have a great patience, and ride at anchor and vanquish every enemy whom his small arms cannot reach, by the grand resistance of submission, of ceasing to do. He is to know that in the last resort he is not here to work, but to be worked upon. He is to eat insult, drink insult, be clothed and shod in insult until he has learned that this bitter bread and shameful dress is also wholesome and warm, is in short indifferent; is of the same chemistry as praise and fat living; that they also are disgrace and soreness to him who has them. I think much may be said to discourage and dissuade the young scholar from his career. Freely be that said. Dissuade all you can from the lists. Sift the wheat, frighten away the lighter souls. Let us keep only the heavy-armed. Let those come who cannot but come, and who see that there is no choice here, no advantage and no disadvantage compared with other careers. For the great Necessity is our patron, who distributes sun and shade after immutable laws." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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