That a man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish essayist, novelist, poet

This quotation is attributed to Stevenson, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, and (by Ann Landers) to Harry Emerson Fosdick, but it is by Bessie A. Stanley of Lincoln, Kansas, in an essay published in the Emporia Gazette of Emporia, Kansas (11 Dec 1905). More here.

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-Aug-13
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