What Constitutes Success

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 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 them the best he had
whose life was an inspiration
whose memory a benediction

The above poem has wrongly been attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, however, according to the Nov. 30, 1905 edition of the Lincoln Sentinel, it was written by Bessie A. Stanley at the earnest solicitation of Mr. Stanley in response to a contest on what constitutes success carried on by the George Livingston Richards Company of Boston, Massachusetts. The essay was entered in competition with hundreds of others from all parts of the country. When Mrs. Stanley was notified that she had won the first prize of $250 she did not credit the good news and, laughing, told Mr. Stanley he could have half.


(Thanks Robin!)

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