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Trey Halsey

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Self-Reliance
In Ralph Waldo Emersons essay, Self-Reliance, he says, For nonconformity
the world whips you with its displeasure. This quote is emphasizing one of the
main points of Emersons essay, which is that great minds have always been
nonconformist and that to ignore the opinions and judgments of others is essential
to achieving excellence. I agree with this quote and believe that the emphasis on
living for the self instead of living for others, or being self-reliant, is important for
living a happy life. People who are nonconformists will always face scrutiny and
judgment from others, but in the end, they will be the ones who are more content
with their lives.
In literature, authors, much like Emerson, have published new ideas which
manifest themselves in nonconformist writings. For example, Krishnamurtis
writings in the book Freedom from the Known relates to nonconformity because it
encourages people to liberate themselves from the limitations of groups. Whether it
be a religion, a nationality, or a community, he encourages people to think for
themselves and not just simply conform to what a group believes, for it is
dangerous to blindly follow the beliefs of others. Additionally, in the book Human,
All Too Human by Nietzsche, the author introduces readers to his concept of free
spirits, which are ordinary people who have separated themselves from others
influence. Nietzsche came up with this idea after he had terminated his friendship
with German nationalist composer Richard Wagner, who influenced much of his
early writing. Due to his desire to be independent, Nietzsche was able to come up

with many of his greatest ideas. Both of these writers emphasize how
nonconformity can be a factor into achieving greatness.
Many people and events in the world have also shown how nonconformity
can change society. For example, Bruce Jenners decision to reveal herself as a
woman shows that she is placing her happiness over her need to conform. She is a
nonconformist because she does not care about the societal backlash that she could
receive in her decision to reveal her true identity. In world events, the conflict
between Russia and Ukraine shows that Ukrainians are nonconformist because they
are fighting tot maintain their independence and do not want to have their land
taken away. They have been criticized for their rebellion, but they are just trying to
ensure their own freedom. The composer Stravinsky is also someone who used
nonconformity to be influential, despite being facing criticism. When his famous
ballet Le Sacre du Printemps premiered, the audience was so shocked by his
usage of dissonant tones and chords that there was a riot. Although it was detested
at its premier, the piece of music has grown to be one of the most influential
contemporary pieces of music that exists.
The quote, For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure
explains how there will be backlash if one goes against what society believes. But,
in the end, they will be happier if they stick to what they truly believe, rather than
to conform to what others think. For me personally, I have found nonconformity to
be part of my household since I do not conform to what my parents think. I have
been much happier by developing my own personalized world-view rather than just
following what my parents believe. Although nonconformists may not be viewed
favorably by the world, they will ultimately find their own personal happiness and be
great people.