Transcendentalism Essay, Research Paper

Following My Power of Language

Just a short time ago I had my first experience with the power of language. I was in the eleventh grade and I was a student in Mr. Rhinehart’s English class. To provide a little background, Mr. Rhinehart, is a “deadhead.” One of the many influences of the American people was the Greatful Dead. In a stereotypical society, followers were labeled “deadheads.” He is very in touch with who he is and likes to help his students identify themselves. Mr. Rhinehart would introduce me to the world of transcendentalism. I love just hearing the word, but at the time I was confused on the meaning. When I first saw the syllabus for this section I was devastated. Like all good students, I went home and read the first assignment. It was a piece by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I opened the book and started to read what I now call, my invitation to the depths of my soul. I was captivated by every word. I started to really think about life and what its worth. I found myself questioning who I was and how I evolved. It is beautiful writing that tells us about what the meaning of life should be. I was amazed how one man was so brilliant. Just by that statement alone I wasn’t learning what I was suppose to. The point of Emerson is to realize that everyone is brilliant and that we need to find the brilliance within ourselves. Each individual needs to realize that book knowledge is not as important as life experience. I found that there was nothing I could learn from this man that I didn’t already have within myself. The one thing I have yet to learn is how to pull it out. Everyday, through outside influences, I get the strength and courage to be a little more brilliant.

“In the woods, is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods, we return to reason and faith.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson. From Nature, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures

Emerson believed that all is good when society is shut out from an individual. He believes we should focus on God’s beauty to find our own peace and happiness. Nature is a tool to search your soul and find out who you are. To paint a picture, this book was like a cluster of trees in the middle of the woods. Take yourself out of mind and into the woods. I was standing in the middle of beauty, looking at God’s great earth. It was a mirror of myself; I could see my reflection in the lake that was just beyond the clearing. This is where I would find myself.

I was born lost. When my mother was a year into her marriage and six months pregnant with me, my biological father abandoned her. My mother took on the responsibility of raising me. Since she was only one person I would have to learn how to share her, and I felt neglected. I would fight to soak up all her attention and most of the time it was through devious behavior. As I got older I shied away and became reserved. I would keep all my thoughts inside. I’ve always struggled with my inner self and the self I portray to others. It is very hard to be confident in a world that feed off of negatively. I would find a way to feed off of it, by becoming opinionated and educated. This is probably why I decided to go into politics. My search for knowledge was my attempt to fill my emptiness. My high school years would prove to be my salvation. Through reading and writing I found an escape. I never was good at a particular thing and I’ve always pleaded to be a great writer. I will always live with the scars of childhood, of always wanting something more. I feel through the power of language, Emerson, I found that something.

As I decide which path to take in life, I encounter new people, new tasks, and new accomplishments. I deal everyday with the past and look to the future through tomorrow. I hope someday I can just sit back and have a sigh of relief, knowing that I accomplished my all. Until that day I will fight to be the best I can be. When I find it all to complicated and there looks, as there is no hope, I remember my experience with the power of language. All I need to do is escape the troubles and journey into the woods.

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