It is hard to keep your head up, remain optimistic, and have faith in our fellow human beings when you read the daily newspaper. That is why I drink my coffee with wise voices from the past, and merely glance through the news. (No imminent end, good.)
This morning, my gloom has been accompanied by Ralph Waldo Emerson. He just inspired me to stop spending money on Etsy ads (screw you, Etsy), stop feeling guilty over rebuffing an obnoxious person who can’t take a hint (screw you, DS), and kick aside my usual low-grade depression. Must remember this feeling, and combat the darkness. Fight back. Give a shit.
What the hell do I care. Read on if you dare. Take it to heart if you’re really brave, if you think you can. And don’t tell me what you think. Just do your own life and get off the internet asap!
“Expect me not to show cause why I seek or why I exclude company.
I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.
Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.
What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great [wo]man is [s]he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series in The Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Brooks Atkinson (New York: The Modern Library, 1968), 149-150.