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Transcendentalism Today Essay

914 words - 4 pages

Transcendentalism is a philosophy that has been passed down through the ages. Just like the world and the people that inhabit it, transcendentalism has changed over time. Since technology has advanced over time, people have thought differently about things. Even though many people have changed their thinking, many others haven’t. There are some people who have slight transcendentalist features. Others have strong transcendentalist features and like to spread the word as often as possible.

One characteristic of transcendentalism is self-reliance, or individualism. The key concept of this characteristic is that you should only be yourself and do things for yourself as well. John Lennon once said, “It is weird to not be weird.” He said this meaning that everyone is weird in their own way, and if you’re not yourself then that is what’s truly weird. A musical group called Chiddy Bang says, “There is no one like me,” in their song “Mind your Manners”. This is a very strong example of individualism meaning that you are the only you, no one can change that. In the Bon Jovi song “My Life” he talks about how it is his life and he has to live it and do things for himself. Terry Brooks once said, “Who would you be but you?” He is saying, why would you be someone that isn’t who you really are? The old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself is a very good example of self-reliance, saying that if you send some one else to do your task, it will not be completed as you had planned, so you should do it yourself instead.

Another characteristic of transcendentalism is free-thought and being optimistic.. Forming your own opinions is the most basic example of free-thought. Rather than adopting someone else’s opinions, you should think about it and come up with your own. Charles P. Steinmetz said, “No man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions,” meaning that if you accept everything you hear as true without question, then you are not thinking about it and when you don’t think, you become a fool. The old saying about seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty is a perfect example of optimism. It means that you should look for the good things in life, rather than the bad things. J. Robert Oppenheimer said, “the optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, the pessimist fears this is true,” meaning that if you are optimistic you see that this world is great, and you can see all the beauty it has to offer, but if you are a pessimist, you only see...

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