Ralph Waldo Emerson's Approach To Success Analysis

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Success is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence”, and this can be seen in the majority of modern American culture today- in television, books, and movies, the end goal of the protagonist is to get rich and get famous. But to others, the appeal of a more helpful, generous life can be seen as successful. This is demonstrated in a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, stating “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; … to find the best in others; … to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” However, due to the selfish nature of society, Emerson’s views do not apply to culture today, because we, as humans, have become ingrained with the habit of caring more about ourselves than others. This does not mean that the views of the modern era are correct, more that we, as a…show more content…
Our views today have become so self-centered that we are afraid to help others for risk of losing our reputation or putting ourselves “in danger.” We have turned a blind eye to the “other man” and are no longer helping those around us. Certain cities around the country are criminalizing the acts of “sleeping in vehicles and camping, sitting or lying down in public,” meaning that homeless persons can no longer use their resources if they don’t have access to a shelter. There was a push in some cities too to consider a ban on feeding the homeless, meaning we can no longer help those in need around us. We preach doing good unto your neighbors from the moment we are born, but the times we actually do it get outshadowed by the times we ignore the helpless. Emerson’s idea, being adopted by our society, will help further a united, happier
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