A single poem sits atop my desk. Since long before becoming a licensed psychotherapist or a postgraduate-trained couples counselor, I’ve had it there. And while I read it often, in this pressure filled world, it’s still hard to live by. So for all the days past and those going forward (Otherwise known as Auld Lang Syne!) I’m posting it for this holiday season:
“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 or a garden patch. . .
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1850
About the Poet. And Why He Matter to Auld Lang Syne.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and an early critic of the pressures of society. He shared his thoughts in dozens of essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Mostly, he wrote about ideas such as individuality, freedom, the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world, and the ability for mankind to realize almost anything.