Self – Reliance Essay, Research Paper

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

life becomes.

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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