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Self-reliance according to World English
Dictionary is the ability to make your own
decisions confidently and independently.
For Emerson, the religion of each person lay in
the individuality that might be wanted in a free
society. In the work ?Self Reliance?, Emerson
wanted people to value their freedom; he wanted
them to be independent in their individual lives.
He expressed his optimistic faith in the power of
individual achievement and originality. He also
considered the overelaborate need to discover and
develop a relationship with nature and with God.
Emerson stated a very interesting point, however
he was not quit right. In my opinion, a person
cannot survive just by depending on himself. Too
much self-reliance often leads to undesirable
consequences. Once an individual becomes aware
that he can think, his life will mean nothing
unless he feels that he is aspiring to something
better, not in the sense of his egoistic
interests, but in the sense of the better goal of
the society striving for that common great cause
which inspires that person as well.
An idea of individualism is deeply embedded in
American culture. Thus there’s no doubt that
people tend to be overly optimistic. For
instance, most people believe deep down that they
are less likely to get hit by a bus or to be
mugged, than their neighbors are. Such optimism
isn’t necessarily bad; it lets people cope with
life’s uncertainties. However, optimism can have
an adverse effect on certain decisions if people
set unrealistic expectations.
Self-reliance can also lead to overconfidence.
Most people who are self-reliant are also
overconfident in their own abilities. Individuals
can overestimate their own abilities or knowledge
as well as the precision of their information.
Essentially a man is created by nature, but it?s
society that develops and shapes him. A well
known Russian author A.N. Tolstoy wrote: ?An
individual cannot be happy if cast out of society
any more than a plant can live if torn out of the
earth and thrown on barren sand.? Thus I can say
that if you seclude yourself from people, you
have nothing to live for. A person who is
self-reliant, becomes isolated with time, he
starts to think that there?s no one better than
him. In consequence a person who sets himself
apart from others robs himself of happiness,
because the more isolated he is, the worse his
In conclusion I would like to say that there are
many ways of making the human condition
unbearable. Probably, the surest of all is to
dedicate oneself to the cult of self-preservation
by means of self-reliance.
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