Bessie Anderson Stanley’s Poem
“What Constitutes Success”
“What Constitutes Success” In 1905 George Livingston Richards Company of Boston, Massachusetts created an essay contest on the best definition on “What Constitutes Success”. The essay had to be under 100 words with neatness, spelling, and other requirements have an impact on the final selected winner.
The essay had hundreds of applicants for the contest. They submitted their essays from all around the United States. One such applicate was Bessie A. Stanley. Bessie’s husband had encouraged his wife to enter the contest because he felt you had the ability to write an essay in the matter subscribed by the rules. His support and earnest solicitation cause Bessie A. Stanley to write an essay for Mr. Richards contest.
On November 25, 1905 Mrs. Bessie A. Stanley was notified of the good news that she had won Mr. Richards essay contest on “What Constitutes Success”. The price was $250.00 and when Bessie A. Stanley hear this news said in a laughing voice, “Mr. Stanley could have half of the winnings for his constant support.”
Mrs. Stanley was the wife of then county superintendent of schools in Lincoln County, Kansas. Mr. Stanley also represented his county in the legislature of 1899.
Some of the essay entries were published in a book called “Heart Throbs”. But Stanley’s essay appeared in a later sequel titled “More Heart Throbs: Volume 2″ published in 1911. This version was very similar to those printed in 1905. But one phrase was omitted: “who has left the world better than he found it”
Personally, I find this poem to be a guide for anyone who wants to walk the path of success. I believe it would be a far better World if we all embraced these words in our everyday lives. I know I am trying to do so and I hope you will too.
Below find a video of me reading Bessie A. Stanley’s poem on “What Constitutes Success”.
Bessie A. Stanley’s poem written as an essay:
“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”
Bessie A. Stanley’s poem written in verse form:
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.