Monday, March 01, 2010
A Successful Life
Beth at Walk-a-Mile inspired me to write this post. She asked about our lives in relation to the following quote, and I decided the best way to answer her question is to follow her lead and address the points in this quote:
To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...This is to have succeeded
*Ralph Waldo Emerson*
to appreciate beauty: um, yes! Life is beautiful: nature, colors, people, love, friendships, art, quilts, flowers, mountains, photographs, the human spirit. I appreciate it and am so thankful for it all.
to find the best in others: I try! I have had to overcome a natural bent to be too judgmental. It’s an ongoing battle. At the same time, I believe people are good at heart. Each person is a child of God. So I try to remind myself of this, to try to stave off the judgments that pop into mind.
to give one’s self: yes! This is my life! A mom, wife, an educator (not a teacher, but in the system working for similar goals), a generous quilter, an active member of a church and its mission/outreach ideals… this defines my life.
to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition: I have two grown children who are wonderful human beings. I am so proud of who they are (not claiming much credit here) and love them to the moon and back. I am happy that the world has been blessed by their presence. Now I have a fabulous daughter-in-law in the mix, too. What a sweetheart! I’m not much of a gardener; I would love to leave a legacy of a redeemed social condition, but I’m afraid I find them all so daunting and difficult. I do my part and constantly wish I could do more.
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation: if you know me, yes! I love to laugh and have fun. As for singing, I do it with gusto, with apologies to those who stand in front of me at church.
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived: oh, I am so humbled by the gifts given to me by my students over the years. I think I have touched a few lives in positive ways, and they have definitely paid that back a thousand fold. And then there is my husband. We are a wonderful team. We help and fulfill each other. I am so lucky!!
I would say I have succeeded. I'm still working on life, but if I die tomorrow, I can feel OK about my efforts to this point. Life is good! I thank God for my wonderful, blessed, lucky, charmed life!!