A brief essay on a passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Experience"

Essay by greggy August 2004

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As college rolls though this first semester, more and more differences are noticed from the years in high school. Never mind the ridicule, never mind the defeat: up again, old heart!


from Essays: Second Series (1844)

by Ralph Waldo Emerson


I'm not a very emotional person (Thank God for that!!) that's why defeats don't really get me. Sure, I mope the first few minutes upon realization that I lost something or I failed to do that, didn't live up to this standard, etc. But after that I just shove it away while saying to myself that life is to short to worry about what could've have been or what should've happened. I don't know if that is a healthy disposition or outlook towards life, but hey, it works for me. I've been through a lot of stress lately, at school and especially at home, and I learned to just let it all pass.

Let's face it, we have our ups and downs. The only way we, or at least I, can stay sane is by figuring out how live through those phases. I make a mistake, fine, next time I'll do better. I think what's wrong with people is that they dwell too much on the past. They have this deep sense of history that they fail to live out their lives and visualize a possible future. Not that it is wrong to look back and learn from it all. It's just that the past is past, nothing can be done to undo what had already transpired. Might as well move on and create a better history now for our descendants to look back at. Don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming to be free of all emotional baggage. I do cry; I get scared, feel humiliated, ashamed,