As we get more involved with social media here at The Terrace it has struck us that many people find posting inspirational quotes a good way to interact with followers and friends. Many seem to do little else other than post such quotes. This is fine, and many people can benefit from having a sentence that they can recall when times are tough and which offers them strength and hope. However, if you are faced with hundreds in your timeline, or some that are either misquoted or not attributed to the person who first said them, do you become numbed to their power to affirm, or find yourself flicking past them – irritated as they fail to inspire?
I am struck most strongly by a quote that has stayed with me and become a favourite. To me it is as relevant today as it was when it was written in the 19th century…..
“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
Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1803 and became a linchpin of American 19th century thinking as his essays, poems and lectures made him one of the most important exponents of the Transcendentalism movement and a critic of great foresight. He influenced Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau and Robert Frost; and many other great writers, whilst denying his role in their development, were undoubtedly affected by his work.
This quote is something we would offer as a mantra that perhaps we could all cling to as the world seems to demand more and more of us each passing year.
Do you have any similar favourites?