In the Self-Reliance Essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson, many premises are stated about society. Whether people should conform to what society says is right or whether they should hold their own and stick to their morals is a tough question in the world today. Society is a wave that moves onward, even though the water that composes it does not. This is not as easily understood what a person must do is all that concerns him, not what the people think.
?Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not.? Things change, but not all people do. They hold on to their beliefs, and don?t want to see change. Many people are afraid of it. Sometimes, the way they grew up makes them not want to change. If someone grew up during the depression, he or she may be more cautious with their money.
Society has become very materialistic. Some people will not even use credit cards. They believe they are just a way to make people overspend. When a person knows he will not have to pay for what he buys right away, he will probably buy more. A few good things that come from this premise is that if society makes a bad move, and the people do not go along with it, nothing really happens. It cancels itself out. A person can also keep his/her individuality, and not always have to change to keep up with every new fad. However, when people refuse to change, it can slow down what gets accomplished in our society, and we can loose out on some of the good ideas.
?What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.? People will do what they want or need to do. Ideally, they won?t change their beliefs because other people do not agree with the same thing. This premise is very valid. Everyone has to be themselves and stick to their own morals. Raising a family is a difficult thing to do in today?s society. It can be hard for a parent to raise his or her child in the way they deem appropriate, when all of the child?s friends are being brought up with looser standards. This belief has the possibility of making the parent look bad and uncompromising in their child?s eyes, yet the parent will do what they believe is in the best interest of the child, no matter what other parents are doing. By sticking to their own beliefs, people will be able to gain independence and stay true to themselves and their thinking.
Not following what society may demand and sticking to an individual belief is a very difficult task for an American to accomplish. In order to function in our society today, a lot of conformity is needed. People need to be willing to listen to others? opinions and, if it is for the better, make changes, if they want to succeed in life.