#827 Do That Which Is Assigned to You

And You Cannot Hope Too Much or Dare Too Much

A few +1s ago we talked about being the change YOU want to see in the world.

As we discussed, we can’t try to be what others think we should be. We need to be who we KNOW we should be.

When I think of that, I think of this passage from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance.

In his epic treatise on self-trust, Ralph tells us: “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 has 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 a unique. The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. There is at this moment for you an utterance brave and grand as that of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or trowel of the Egyptians, or the pen of Moses, or Dante, but different from all these. Not possibly will the soul all rich, all eloquent, with thousand-cloven tongue, deign to repeat itself; but if you can hear what these patriarchs say, surely you can reply to them in the same pitch of voice; for the ear and the tongue are two organs of one nature. Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart, and thou shalt reproduce the Foreworld again.

🎤 drop.

That’s Today’s +1.

If you feel so inspired, re-read that 19th century prose and mine it for all its worth. (And, if you haven’t read the entire essay, what’re you waiting for?! You can get it free online many places, including here.)

Special highlights from my (100th?) re-read:

Insist on yourself; never imitate.

And…

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.

Plus…

Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.

So…

What has been assigned to YOU?

Give us all you got.

(Pretty please. 😘)

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