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wonders never cease Wednesday, May 25, 2011

happy birthday, ralph waldo emerson!

Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson was a beacon of intellect in nineteenth century America, leading the Transcendentalist movement that championed individualism and helped to form a definable American philosophy in our young country. His 1837 lecture entitled The American Scholar was called America's "intellectual Declaration of Independence" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and his essays and lectures influenced great thinkers around the world. His efforts to abolish slavery were particularly effective and may have helped to change the course of American history. His wisdom has withstood the test of time. On this day, the 208th anniversary of his birth, we celebrate a great man, choosing songs for a play list to accompany some of the advice he left for us:

1. We're Going To Be Friends - The White Stripes
"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

2. Walking On The Moon - The Police
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

3. Heroes - The Wallflowers
"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."

4. I Am A Scientist - Guided By Voices
"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

5. Thank You Friends - Big Star
"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new."

6. The Man Never Imitate, Always Originate - Scientist
"Insist on yourself; never imitate... Every great man is unique."

7. Misunderstood - Wilco
"To be great is to be misunderstood."

8. Respect Yourself - Robert Palmer
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."

9. I Don't Want To Know - Fleetwood Mac
"There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant."

10. Rawhide - Blues Brothers
"Hitch your wagon to a star."

11. Honor Amongst Thieves - These United States
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."

12. Cigarettes and Whiskey - The Muppets and Peter Sellers
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

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