Table of Contents
- Conforming to Society
- The Greatest Accomplishment
- Works cited
We live in a world where people are afraid to be themselves and this is because of our society. The society has a major impact on us as humans. If you aren't a size zero or you don't look like a model, you don't fit in. If you're a size ten or above, you are considered fat. People should never have to be afraid to be themselves or feel the need to change themselves due to our society. Individuality is what designs a person, it's rare, unique and beautiful and should never be changed.
Conforming to Society
Our generation today looks up to people on social media, models, actors, and famous singers. Because of this, people change the way they look or act to fit a certain requirement that society has embedded in the brains of our generation. This could be the way they dress or their sexuality. Conforming to society isn't just about your personality or looks, it could be watching television shows or buying the latest iPhone instead of buying an android because iPhones are more popular. Most people end up attempting to change themselves to fit societies standards so they can fit in with what the media wants them to act like or look like, or even to look 'cool,' however, Ralph Waldo Emerson has a different opinion.
The Greatest Accomplishment
His quote, 'To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment' really stands out to me because he wants you to be yourself and by being yourself, you have accomplished the greatest thing in life. I believe this is true because you should always be yourself no matter what someone else thinks of you. You should never have to conform yourself to anyone's standards but your own. Last year, I met someone who is very close to me and later found out he is transgender. He told me, 'Growing up I could never be myself. I'd always have to be someone I'm not, but when I met you I finally decided not to let that happen anymore and I've never felt freer.' Freeing yourself from how others view you and the limits people put on you and finally being yourself, that is the greatest accomplishment.
Following Emerson's quote, an example of this in literature would be Edgar Allan Poe. His writing style doesn't obey the rules of society. His style of dark romanticism is abundantly dark, and his pieces relate to his life. Poe's piece 'Alone' is about his childhood and how he felt alone and completely isolated as a child, during the entire story it's immensely dark, however, he told the true story and the real emotions he felt and didn't change anything. He kept the story the way it went and the way he wanted it to go.
In conclusion, Emerson's quote is powerful and precise. You should always continue to be yourself throughout life with everything you do. By doing that, you have achieved the greatest thing in life. I once saw this television show and one of the characters said, 'she wears her individuality like a shield,' as you should. Individuality is unique and beautiful and you should never change that for anyone.
- Emerson, R. W. (n.d.). Essays: First Series. Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2944/2944-h/2944-h.htm
- Poe, E. A. (n.d.). Alone. In The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol. 1, pp. 196-197). Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25525/25525-h/25525-h.htm