The first wealth is health.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson founded the Transcendentalist movement, which valued a strong connection to nature above all. He believed that good physical health strengthens our instinct to choose experiences that make life rich and full. Emerson lived out these beliefs, balancing a quiet life in the woods of Concord, Massachusetts with his travels across the United States and Europe giving lectures. When he developed memory problems later in life, he slowed his pace so he could preserve his health and still publish his writing. He reminds us that taking care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, is a crucial part of living out our goals and dreams.