People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.

What did Ralph Waldo Emerson mean by:

People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.


This quote is a reflection on the rarity of finding individuals who possess not just great talents or abilities, but also a harmonious balance in their character and life. The “great gifts” Emerson refers to might be extraordinary intelligence, artistic talent, athletic ability, or any other remarkable skill. These people, while not commonplace, are still relatively easy to find when compared to those who have cultivated a balanced and symmetrical life.

The terms “symmetrical” and “balanced” in this context refer to a well-rounded character and lifestyle. It’s about having a harmonious blend of various qualities and skills, rather than excelling in just one area. This could mean balancing professional success with personal happiness, intellectual growth with emotional maturity, or ambition with empathy.

In today’s world, this quote can be applied to the concept of personal development and self-improvement. Many people strive for success in a specific field or skill, often neglecting other aspects of their life or personality. This quote suggests that true greatness lies not in mastering one skill at the expense of others, but in developing a well-rounded character and balanced lifestyle.

It also touches on the idea of holistic development, a concept that is gaining popularity in education and personal growth fields. This approach encourages individuals to develop in all areas – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – rather than focusing solely on academic or professional growth.

In the context of personal development, this quote can serve as a reminder to strive for balance and symmetry in our pursuits. It encourages us to not only develop our talents and skills, but also to cultivate our emotional intelligence, nurture our relationships, and invest time in personal well-being. In doing so, we can achieve a more balanced, symmetrical, and ultimately fulfilling life.

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