Ralph Waldo Emerson Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old ralph waldo emerson quotes, ralph waldo emerson sayings, and ralph waldo emerson proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men are respectable only as they respect.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

One thing in the world, of value, is the active soul.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We acquire the strength we have overcome.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I'm not so large as you, You are not so small as I, And not half so spry.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The First wealth is health.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson in life who does not every day surmount a fear.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you learn only methods, you'll be tied to your methods but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every calamity is a spur and a valuable hint.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every artist was first an amateur.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enthusiasm is the leaping lightning, not to be measured by the horse-power of the understanding.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson