Friday, September 23, 2011

Words to Live By

PS Magazine September October Issue

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit 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.”

While often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson or Robert Louis Stevenson or Hallmark, it was actually written by Bessie Stanley in 1904…I think. I have the readers digest version painted on walls all over my house, “live well, laugh often, love much.” I’ve even used it as the toast at 5 different marriages. While I would like to know who really wrote it in order to give credit where credit is due, the important part is the words themselves. They have a deep meaning for me, one that brings tears to my eyes every time I read it…it is that powerful.

I think we all struggle from time to time to find meaning in our lives. What is our purpose here? Five years ago I took on the position of executive director here at PSA…I wanted to make a profound difference on a larger scale for both myself and the sport I love. What I found is that many of you feel the same way… just looking for an opportunity to make a difference, either large or small.

The words to live by written above are beautiful, but as we all know I like to do, I need to tweak it just a little bit. In the magazine industry we call it editorial license…

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of coaching peers and the affection of my students; to earn the approbation of honest officials and endure the betrayal of solicitation; to appreciate the beauty of skating; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a better person, a better skater or both; to have skated and laughed with enthusiasm and performed with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have transferred the love of skating to others—this is to have succeeded.”