To laugh often and love much
To win the respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
And endure the the betrayal of false friends
To appreciate beauty
To find the best in others
To leave the world a bit better
Whether by a healthy child
A garden patch
Or a redeemed social condition
To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived...
That is to have succeeded
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
However.... Apparently it wasn't really his!
Joel Myerson demonstrates in “Emerson’s ‘Success’—Actually, it is not,” Emerson Society Papers, 11, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 1, 8, that the above quote is not actually a work by Emerson.
On 1 February 1992 Abby (Abigail VanBuran) printed a letter from Arthur Stanley Harvey, who wrote that the quotation was based on something his grandmother, Bessie Anderson Stanley, had written in 1904, and that had been appropriated for many years by greeting card companies, including Hallmark, which had “erroneously credited Robert Louis Stevenson as the author.”
Abby then printed what she described as the original from the 1904 Brown Book Magazine:
"He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction."
My favorite version is the last one quoted above.
Its my goal to be a person that laughes often and loves much.
To look for the good in others and hope they do the same for me.
I would like to be one that will leave the world a better place even though what good I accomplish may be a mear drop in the perveral bucket.
To do my best to give my best, although I frequently fall short.
Its my desire that anyone reading this will strive to do the same.