Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ralph or Bessie, You Rock

In honor of our snow day today, which wasn’t announced until just before I left for work (which is admittedly better than announcing it after I’d left), here is what I read on a poster at a school last week. It was attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson. I went home and looked it up, and some sources claim that it’s actually taken from an essay written by Bessie Stanley.

Whoever wrote it was uncommonly wise…and undoubtedly successful in spite of not being properly cited.

What is Success?

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, or possibly Bessie Stanley

Spoken by a high school social studies teacher who is one of the best at his profession I've seen: “I don’t teach for the paycheck; most teachers don’t. But one of my former students came back to see me. He sells burglar alarms now, and he was about to go to Sweden to install alarms in some mansion. Sweden! He’s like, ‘You can come work for me when you retire.’ I’m not above that, you know what I’m sayin’? I could do that. I mean, I sell American History to teenagers at seven o’clock in the morning every day. I could sell alarms to rich people in Sweden.”


  1. Whoever said it...lovely quotation.

    And selling alarms in Sweden? Sounds like a writer's dream job. Think of the potential stories!

  2. Yeah...and gosh, I guess they don't have alarm systems to buy IN Sweden, because it's such a safe country!

  3. Tam! I LOVE the new look!! Beee-u-ti-mous!! Perfecto!! This is definitely my favorite!!!

  4. LOL...Thanks, Becky, for your input! But as you may notice, I'm still working on it! :-o Almost there...!?


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