Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quote: Never Imitate

"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person exhibited it. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is an unique . . . If any body will tell me whom the great man imitates in the original crisis when he performs a great act, I will tell him who else than himself can teach him. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned thee, and thou canst not hope too much or dare too much."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance*

*The Norton Anthology of Literature, Fifth Edition, Volume 1


Anonymous said...

Dost thou refereth to yoga teaching?

Om Gal said...

It could certainly apply, but no, not a direct, intended reference. Just love Emerson!

Jen said...

Great quote. I've heard the first line before, but never the whole thing. It's wonderful.

elena said...

Such meaningful words and precision. The guy is sharp! I like this a lot : )

Ali said...

I just stumbled onto your blog through some design blogs and I love it! I am a runner and lately have been doing some Physique 57 dvds, but I would like to do yoga. I live in Atlanta and I don't know of a good yoga studio near me. Can you recommend a yoga dvd that would work? I see those girls in the Athleta catalogs in their poses and they look so strong and fit. Thanks!!