I love this quote. It totally captures my heart for education, and especially my love for teaching literature. I am so inspired by the idea that something that someone wrote centuries ago can impact people today, even teenagers.
A few months ago, we were studying Transcendentalism in my classes, and I was so excited to see my students really moved by the ideas of Thoreau and Emerson. It is an entirely unique experience to read a text through the lens of a high schooler.
“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
// Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”
What a beautiful message for my students, who are struggling to find themselves and trying to figure out their place in the world. I can only hope that this idea, along with many others so far this year, has stretched their minds to new dimensions.