What does Emerson say is every person's destiny?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Being a Transcendentalist, Emerson seeks an answer to the question of individual destiny through an emotional sphere.  Striving to establish an answer devoid of social conformity and traditionalist notions of the good, Emerson directs the answer inward.  Emerson believes that if individuals can find the element of their own voice within their own sense of self, their destiny will be understood and fully embraced.  Each individual possesses a unique sense of destiny and spirit within them, and being able to "hear" and "see" this through personal reflection will allow them to embrace what is rightly theirs.  That individual destiny is inscribed within an inner self that is always true and good. "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string."  This idea of "Self- Reliance"- the title of his essay to demonstrate this idea- helps to enhance this idea that the sense of individual destiny lies waiting to be realized inside the hearts and minds of individuals.

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