Live well, laugh often, love much

What constitutes  success? She has achieved a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of little children; who has filled her niche and accomplished her task, who has left the world better than she found it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best she had.

Bessie Anderson Stanley, 1879-1952

American Writer

 
 
Here is the original form of this quote:
 
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 never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
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.

http://www.robinsweb.com/truth_behind_success.html (a copy of just one of the controversies surrounding this much quoted poem.

     When I read this poem, the familiar phrase jumped out at me.  “Lived well, laughed often, loved much.”  We see tense changed necklaces, plaques, posters of this phrase all over the place.  Perhaps to the point that we don’t see it anymore; “Live well, laugh often, love much.”  I must confess that I thought it was wonderful until I began to see it everywhere.  But this poem?

     This poem reads for me now like a list of goals that are achievable.  A list of goals that coupled with the scripture just became my life’s work.  I read this poem, and think of so many of you who, if you looked behind you,  would see a trail of light.  A trail of lives mended, children changed and encouraged, a trail that is more beautiful behind you, a trail filled with well -wishers, people you don’t even know who have prayed for you, as well as those who have.  It all makes sense to me when I read that beloved scripture from Micah:

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.

Micah 6:8

Today, as you go about your work, your worship, your tasks, allow just a little bit of that love and joy in accomplishment touch you.  It is the love of God.

 

Because of Him,

Linda

 

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