Successful Life


To laugh often and love much;

to win and hold the respect of intelligent persons

and the affection of little children;

to earn the approval of honest critics

and to endure without flinching the betrayal of false friends.


To appreciate beauty always,

whether in earth's creations or men and women's handiwork;

to have sought for and found the best in others,

and to have given it oneself;

to leave the world better than one found it,

whether by nurturing a child or a garden patch,

writing a cheery letter,

or working to redeem some social condition.


To have played with enthusiasm,

laughed with exuberance,

and sung with exultation;

to go down to dust and dreams knowing

that the world is a little bit better,

and that even a single life breathes easier

because we have lived well, that is to have succeeded.


Ralph Waldo Emerson