November 9, 2008

All life is an experiment

Emerson in His Journals (Amazon.com)
Do not be too timid & squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more you make, the better. What if they are a little coarse, & you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, & get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never more be so afraid of a tumble. This matter of the lectures, for instance. The engagement drives your thoughts & studies to a head, & enables you to do somewhat not otherwise practicable; that is the action. Then there is the reaction; for when you bring your discourse to your auditory, it shows differently. You have more power than you had thought of, or less. The thing fits, or does not fit; is good or detestable.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson [from his journals, Nov. 1842], in EMERSON IN HIS JOURNALS, selected and edited by Joel Porte, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Massachsetts) - London (England), 1982.



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