Day 300: Words, Words, Words – “Success” (1904)

After taking a few days off to reset my head, I realized it was time to get back to posting when I saw an excerpt from the following quote on the front of a greeting card (which mis-attributed it to Robert Louis Stevenson) at the local post office today:

“He 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.”

— Bessie Anderson Stanley

Commonly mis-attributed to famous authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Robert Louis Stevenson, this poem actually was written (originally in prose form) by American author Bessie Anderson Stanley, who originally submitted it as an entry in a contest sponsored by Brown Book Magazine, which asked entrants to answer the question, “What is success?” in one hundred words or less.


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