A Thoroughly Modern Rx



If I were a medical doctor specializing in the treatment of 21st-century illnesses, I'd prescribe the entirety of Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay on Self-Reliance for an increasingly common affliction I've identified called "social media-induced malaise."

The following excerpt I would specifically recommend to treat what I call "grass-is-greener ennui," a vague but persistent discomfort one feels after viewing the Twitter and/or Facebook profiles of her seemingly more accomplished or happy friends:

"...The voices which we hear in solitude... grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world.

Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist."
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