My first thoughts on Transcendentalism was that I was really confused and could not quite understand what it was talking about or what it meant. The philosophical idea of transcendentalism’s central figure was Ralph Emerson, who lead the movement in the mid nineteenth century. When I first read Nature and Self-Reliance by Ralph Emerson, I understood the basics of what it was trying to get at, but I did not understand the deeper meaning to it all. I knew that it was talking about nature and the way that man nature interact with another and that Emerson was talking about how people need to be less about themselves and not be so self-centered. I believe that men are naturally good. I believe they are capable of being able to control themselves and do not need to have society and its rules keep them from doing bad things. They are able to make a conscious decision to either do something or not do something depending on if it is right or wrong. If people were to have to listen to other people to tell them how to live their lives, things would get messy. They would not follow the rules and would in fact make things much worse for society. They need to be able to do what they want when they want and live their lives free of other people. To get the most out of life, you need to be able to do what makes you happy and being told by society’s rules what you can or cannot do is just total misery and would make a person’s life gloomy and no fun and not worth living. Now granted we do have to follow certain rules or the world would be utter chaos, but for things that will not harm others, people should definitely be able to make their own decisions. But, if their actions and decisions hurt other people, I believe they should be punished and not able to make their own choices anymore. As long as they are using the power that they have for good, I believe in Transcendentalism!