This morning I read the following quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. The question, "Have I succeeded?", caught my attention. Sometimes I ponder the reality that 50 years after I die no one will remember who I am. Not trying to be morbid or depressing, it's just the truth.
Everyone is talking about Abraham Lincoln these days. Lincoln played a prominent role in President Obama's recent Inauguration. Hundreds of books have been written about him and a new one has just been released. Stephen Spielberg's recent movie about Abraham Lincoln will soon be winning multiple Oscars at the upcoming Academy Awards. Abraham Lincoln has been dead for nearly 150 years but almost everybody remembers him. Most would agree that he was a very successful person.
A century and a half years from now no one will remember me. So the question, "Have I succeeded?", caused me to ponder. My heart rate quickened as I read Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote. I felt affirmed with each statement he made. The weakest link for me was the "garden patch" comment but I have done a couple rounds of nurturing a flower garden, so I'll leave that in. Based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's opinion, yes, I think I have succeeded.
"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, a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson
HT to MinEmergent for this quote.