“… success is contingent upon the highest moral ideal, which is “The greatest good to the greatest number. Aspiration, desire and harmonious relations constantly and persistently maintained will accomplish results.” Charles Hannel
This past week has been an interesting challenge. I have completely re-written the PRESS RELEASE page of my blog. Accomplishing this has not come easy. Initially, I thought this requirement would be a breeze, but it has turned out to be rather time consuming and very thought provoking. Published the new page today and am finally in a space of being content with the finished product. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if I tweak it again; after all this is movie of my life. In completing the press release, I recall the words from scroll one in THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD, “.. success is a state of mind.” We all know that our culture defines success by all the material trappings. They are nice to have, but it’s not the vacation, the car or the house that measures who we are and what we have accomplished at the end of journey. Rather, I have come to realize it’s the people we touch. It’s using our time, gifts and financial resources to touch the greatest number of people. It’s in effect being the best steward as possible with all our gifts.
Long ago, in fact 38 years ago , it was the day after my graduation from college, I was sitting at the breakfast table with my father and asked him; “what do I do now?” He put down the newspaper, went to the counter and obtained a pair of scissors to cut out something from the morning paper, (Just think , this poem was there in the morning newspaper to answer my question!!!!!!) My father gave me this:
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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.
I was laying in the bed the other evening and came across this poem in a book. It has been a long time since I have read the poem; it was a fitting piece to ponder since I was reflecting on “the movie of my life.” I do not know where the original clipping is, but it is still somewhere in my home (got to look for it!). I recalled with fondness that day 38 years ago. By his simple act, my father gave me some sound advice to live out my life. May this poem resonate with your soul too.
Peace be the journey-