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 (1803 to 1882)
Emerson was a philosopher and poet. He was born in Boston and attended Harvard Divinity School. Emerson believed that — because everything is connected to God — everything is divine. In an 1841 essay, this transcendentalist encouraged people to:
- Find their own life callings instead of following society’s expectations.
- Develop their own voices and understandings of life (rather than relying on others’ opinions).
- Be honest in all relationships.
His essay, “Self Reliance,” reads in part,
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, Read entire essay.
Because you live, these opportunities await! Thank goodness!
Perhaps a place of divine providence for one man is the way he’s helping thousands breathe easier through the laughter he’s caused by giving breath to a tiny, drowned lizard. Click on the picture below. Enjoy.