Tag Archives: World Literature

How do YOU define success?

I just love this quote. What makes it special is the hope and encouragement it offers that the ‘ordinary’ lives of most of us, in their own way, hold a good measure of success, which should not be defined in terms of professional or public achievement alone…….

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give 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.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson(1803-1882) American essayist and poet

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson



Note: I’ve just discovered whilst checking its provenance via Google that this quotation may NOT be from Emerson after all!

If you are interested in researching its origins, check out speculation at www.transcendentalists.com


200 words copyright Anne Whitaker/R.W. Emerson 2015
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

What happens when the Net goes down…..and other horrors!

This is the second in my new series of Brilliant Posts, when I feature, approximately weekly, a post which I find stands out from everything I’ve read recently.

The shout-out this week goes to the brilliant Pretty Feet, Pop Toe blog which I’ve been Following for some time. Check this one out  – ‘Lord of the Flies‘ is alive and well at an office near you…..be very afraid!


Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies 

100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


“….in this journey of the Spirit….”

This remains one of my favourite quotes. There is so much wisdom in it, especially in these fractious and intolerant times……

“….in this journey of the spirit, I and others still walk that steep uphill road….And all our religious edifices, which serve first as staffs to help us on our way, in the end become crutches which we must discard….And the doctrines which we espouse and which we hold dear are only smooth shining stones which we pick up on the road and place in our baggage. With each new dogma and doctrine, the baggage grows heavier, until we discard these pebbles, one by one, leaving them on the roadside for others to find and carry a little further. And in the end we have need of neither doctrine nor creed, nor to name that which we worship – for it is beyond all image and words….”

(pp 120-121 Women in Search of the Sacred by Anne Bancroft (Penguin Arkana 1996)

Women in search of the Sacred

Women in search of the Sacred



150 words copyright Anne Bancroft/Anne Whitaker 2012

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page