“Character” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sun set, but set not his hope:
Stars rose; his faith was earlier up:
Fixed on the enormous galaxy,
Deeper and older seemed his eye;
And matched his sufferance sublime
The taciturnity of time.
He spoke, and words more soft than rain
Brought the Age of Gold again:
His action won such reverence sweet
As hid all measure of the feat.

Determining the right thing to do can be incredibly challenging on occasion. The situations we face in this complex world we live in are rarely clear-cut and the most generative course is rarely the obvious one. Many times there is no simple “right” or “wrong” answer, there is only what appears to be the best choice given the available information and the circumstances at hand.

During these times you must reach deep within your heart to connect with the answer. Your mind must be as free of tension as possible and your heart must be as untroubled as you can manage for the answer to flow from within outward. You must trust yourself as a mechanism for the conveyance of the right answer, which can be a little intimidating if you are truly being honest with yourself, and you must be willing to accept the consequences of your decisions while moving forward.

The sun sets each and every day, but you must take care and dig down deep on occasion, so that your hope for a better, brighter future does not.

7 thoughts on “Character

  1. Ricardo B.

    I have yet to find any kind of keen insight into matters when in a state of tension. Tension, or the energies behind it, has to be transmuted and transformed for there to be a positive direction gleaned, one that results from the best understanding of the factors at hand, always careful of false assumptions, always respectful of the benefit of doubt.

    The heart goes deep and in faith, it does provide.


  2. Maxine

    Character to me is something that is built as we progress through our lives. We make choices ourselves, we see other making choices and we simply end up with that which we have created within ourselves from the actions and choices that we had made through out our lifetime. If we look at that at any point in our lives and wonder why it is not better than it is, we then have another choice in our life to make it better. Hopefully we have surrounded ourselves with those who show character that we value and we have done what is right each time we have a choice, if not we do make mistakes but that too builds character in how we handle those mistakes and what we do to make things right going forward with those we may have hurt and with ourselves, as we must trust and love ourselves and be right with God first, all else will come into its right place when we are right in our hearts and with God.


  3. Steve

    Love the words of the poem. They bring to mind the reality of our being that precedes all physical form. Our being is much greater than even our perception of the enormity of the galaxy. Coming into a greater awareness of the reality of our character sets the stage for bringing the “the age of gold again, action won such reverence sweet hiding all measure of the feat.”


  4. Joy

    If I in my life obtain a level of function that conforms to the exquisiteness of Emerson’s poems, that you shared with us today. I would feel that I have attained the success in living that you spoke of yesterday Gregg. Thank you for this remarkable call to action.


  5. Lady Leo

    I believe character is not something we are entirely born with. It is not something bestowed but built decision by decision. While it seems our character is often tested for its strength or possibly purity, that too adds to it’s mettle. I agree with your thought on the heart, if untroubled; and to reference Emerson’s poem, staid on “the age of gold “,therein lies the brightness of the future.


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