“To Know Even One Life Has Breathed Easier because You Have Lived.”
“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 friends; 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 has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of all the quotes that I have read this quote in particular stood out. One reason is not only because it is one of the longest quotes I have ever read, but one of the most meaningful of the bunch. Needless to say, Emerson must have been one of few successful men alive. For a person to come to this simple yet detailed realization of what it means to succeed, what it means to live and have a purpose, is a remarkable and admirable person at best. Without a doubt, I respect this man. Personally, this philosophy and piece of enlightenment generates joy within me. It makes me happy. It gives me hope to better myself as a person and reassures me that I can still achieve success.
Life lessons depicted from this piece is what stuck out and caught my attention and my appreciation. Lessons such as, “..the betrayal of false friends,”and “..to find the best in others.” Another part of the quote that struck me is when Emerson writes, “..to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.” This here is my goal in life and is my most important. Because there are so much suffering in this world, all I want to do is make life easier for those I cross paths with, those who I build relationships with, and those who I love. Already I have begun this journey of bring joy and acceptance into lives that have endured a life of struggle and sadness and I can honestly say that I am happy to be taking this journey. (As Oprah Winfrey once said, life is a journey not taken alone.)
- Oates, J., (n.d.) Success: Timeless Wisdom (Quotes). Columbia Basin College, WA. Retrieved A January 25, 2012 from http://www.oncourseworkshop.com/