Well. Today I embarked on a journey.

Technically it was last night when I read the prologue to a book containing four essays written by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I have decided to not take any further formal education during the next year. Instead, I will spend the time usually reserved for studies and schoolwork, reading. Spurred on by my brother-in-law and my father, my first thought was to read through the Harvard classics. But my wallet and bank account turned out to be the most convincing voice in that discussion. Fresh out of College with $4.11 to spare, I decided to forego buying the Harvard Classics set and to look through my father’s library for “classic-sounding” books.

My father is an avid reader, and his library is a treasure of enduring literature.

I found several classics, contemporary best sellers, award winners, “how-to” pamphlets, volumes of history, novels, textbooks, and comic books. Emerging from intense competition for the first round draft pick for this reading journey was a book simply called Emerson. It contains four essays written by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  • Self-Reliance.
  • Prudence.
  • Wealth.
  • History.

I’m beyond excited about beginning this journey. And I’m excited about starting it with Ralphie. I don’t think I’ve ever spent much time with any of his works. According to the prologue, I’ve been missing out.

I want to read for a a few different reasons. But the main reason is:

I want to become a better writer, and speaker.It’s my opinion (and limited experience) that a person’s eloquence is often determined by their familiarity with literature. It seems like the average person I run into isn’t able to communicate their thoughts well. Via written word, or in conversation. Those that do communicate well and can hold their own in conversation and in deeper discussions tend to be the ones that are well acquainted with classic literature. I’ve read quite a bit. But if we’re playing the comparison game I’m losing. I want to be able to be a great speaker and writer. I feel a burning in my bones to communicate clearly the Gospel of Jesus. To communicate that well, I would do well to learn from gifted authors who have gone before me.

While I no doubt will learn from the thoughts of many of these great men and women, the reason I am so interested in them is because of their ability to communicate those thoughts in ways that history has deemed timeless.

So. Here I go. First with Ralphie. A man who had a knack for speaking to his generation. I’ll think out loud my thoughts about Ralphie and his writing in subsequent posts.