“A Man’s Success” reflection by Mary E. Latela, March 6, 2017
Have you ever read something and it linked somehow to a memory or a saying that has touched your heart? I read a piece today by my friend @AnneLParrish, about men who live “lives of quiet desperation,” and I recalled my Uncle Carl. He did not.
This was the kid brother: who was my first babysitter because Dad was away in the War, the man who married, fathered three strong, beautiful daughters, and kept on loving them, even after the divorce, who stayed with Grandma when she was failing so that she wouldn’t awaken during the night afraid. This is the man whose smile was beautiful, and he often smiled. This is the man who died too soon, of brain cancer, on a warm day in May.
When I first read the quote (attributed to R.W. Emerson), I thought of my uncle, and of others who did not worry as much about success as about offering a hand, a smile, an encouraging word.
“That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of 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 or 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.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson