Essays: First SeriesRalph Waldo Emerson
When I was a junior in high school, I drew "transcendentalists" out of a hat for a project and subsequently fell in love with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Last summer in the midst of week number three of basketball camp, I made reference to Thoreau's Walden Pond and how I'd like nothing more than to escape there. The "what on earth are you talking about" expressions on several of my players' faces prompted me to mail each of them Emerson's Self-Reliance in its entirety. I've lost count of the number of times in which "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string" has guided me toward what is real and right. In a world whose pace makes it hard to hear, I want my players to understand the necessity of having a voice that is all their own, and knowing what it sounds like. Emerson encourages and begs and demands his readers to think and to believe in their own thoughts. No one should have to become without it.
From Books That Inspire 2002.