Self-reliance—the ability to depend on one’s own abilities, trust one’s decisions and choices, and take responsibility for the results—is often touted as the great ideal, especially in the US. It is important for each of us to develop our capacity to take care of ourselves so as to avoid unhealthy codependent relationships and social conformity that targets our unique sense of self. However, we remain deeply social, interdependent creatures, and the ideal of self-reliance can be taken to dangerous, isolating extremes.
Emerson's combination of eastern and western philosophies provided a uniquely eclectic perspective for his time. Today, his ideas may seem to permeate the common place, which is only a testament to the influence his work had on the world at large.
I’m the first to admit that for many years, I was a bit emotionally needy. Not in a crazy, desperate way, but in the way that many of us are. I wanted someone else to make me happy, blamed others for my unhappiness, sought to fulfill my emotional needs through others.
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