What follows is one of my favourite poems about life. It was originally written by Bessie Stanley and the philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, reworked it. I am sharing Emerson’s version with you. It goes as follows:
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 friend;
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 breathed easier because you have lived.
This is success.
This poem has been part of my mental toolbox for many, many years. Of course, I do not always succeed, but I believe it is a worthy cause to keep pursuing and reflecting upon. I use it as a lighthouse and the words are an important encouragement to not only look at what others to wrong me but to also keep reflecting on my own behaviour and correcting the negative and destructive.