These 95 words sum it up perfectly for me. What do you think?


“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
who has gained 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 by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had;
whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”

These wise words were written by Bessie A. Stanley of Lincoln, Kansas and was the winning entry in a press competition. The first published record is on December 11, 1905 in the Emporia Gazette of Emporia, Kansas.

So wise are these words that they are often incorrectly attributed on the internet to the famous American essayist, lecturer, and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I heard this poem being read aloud at the memorial service for my friend, Chris Ragg, last week. It spoke volumes to me and I had to check it out over the weekend through the wonderful Quote Investigator website.

Here’s to your continued success.