“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure 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. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson wrote this sometime in the mid to late 1800s I believe. I came across it a couple of years ago and it came up on my radar again. In today’s world and my age I consider just waking up on the right side of the dirt as a sign that I have succeeded. If he were to write that today I really wonder what he would have said?
………This is to have succeeded. In life? Love? School? I am going to approach it as “in life.” What is success? According to Merriam-Webster, outcome result; degree or measure of succeeding; attainment of wealth, favor or eminence; one that succeeds.
I racked my little brain and I couldn’t think of anyone that I can say is breathing easier because I am alive. As far as “a redeemed social condition” I had to wrestle with this one and I am not sure I have the right idea however I think Emerson is referring to a certain social group (culturally, politically, economically, etc, really guessing here)one may have helped beat gambling addiction, alcoholism etc. in one of those groups.
To appreciate beauty. Wow, now that could be a loaded gun. I know how society seems to label beauty, usually they don’t look past the outside beauty. I am of the opinion that beauty is the whole package. One can be beautiful on the outside but so ugly on the inside. I see people that are bullied, ridiculed and treated like low class citizens because they may carry a few extra pounds, a noticeable scar, birth mark etc.. The majority of folks just seem to look at a person on the outside without finding out what their heart is made of. They could have a heart of gold and no one ever notices. Seems so sad and such a waste. If you are a person that looks at the “whole” person and not just the outer shell I truly believe that is a true sign of success and you have my utmost respect. So many people are incapable of it.
Oh my gosh , the light bulb just went off!! I thought of someone that breathes easier because I am alive. My doctor. I mean how did I overlook that. After all if I was on the other side of the dirt my doctor would lose that income. After all the money is in the treatment not the cure.
Aw, the betrayal of false friends. Now this is one that can hurt. What is that little saying going around the internet, oh yeah. The only reason some folks are alive is because I don’t want to go to prison, or something like that anyway. That can be a tough pill to swallow. There are some really cold people in the world and they don’t seem to have any problem hurting other people. I think some folks just crave the feeling. Here is another real sign of success I think. If one can truly forgive a false friend that betrayed them I think that is another true sign of success.
I don’t know if it because I am getting old and less trusting, it just seems harder and harder to find the best in others. There is so much dishonesty and hate in the world today that it is hard to trust. To find the best in others you are going to have to trust them. In the past I have recommended horse trainers. These were trainers that I thought they knew what they were doing. Boy was I wrong. I have saw what I thought was good in a lot of folks and just set myself up for a hard fall. With me it is a tough one and if it is something that I have to accomplish to have succeeded in life, I may be running a little short on making it.
Once again thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. I truly wish everyone a successful and prosperous life. One filled with success and good times. Spread the love!