Emerson Quote Jeff Russell

To Laugh Often and Much: A Few Thoughts from Our President, Jeff Russell

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is by far my favorite quote because it resonates with me…literally every word of it. I also believe that there are a number of concepts in the quote that are so important for each of us in everyday life, especially in the current world we are living in.

So, today I wanted to take a few minutes to break down a few parts of it: 

“To laugh often and much.”

There’s no shortage of statistics or experts that say just how important laughter is. Why? Because laughter has been linked to reducing stress, increasing endorphins, building a stronger immune system, and can also just be a really good ab workout. The same is true with a smile. Even if it’s fake. Our bodies cannot distinguish between a fake one or real one. 

“To win the respect of intelligent people.”

Often, we care too much about what people think about us, and this includes strangers or people who we don’t care about. It’s a waste of time. Focus on earning the respect of people you actually care about and admire. 

“Affection of children.” 

I remember being a child and there were some adults that talked to me like I was a person. They asked me questions and talked to me in a way that made me feel important. And, I will forever hold a special place in my heart and look up to those people. With every child, we have a moment to make a memory and leave a legacy. Let’s do that more often and make it a good one. 

“Leave the world a better place.” 

The question I ask myself often and encourage you to ask yourself is, “What am I doing in my life right now to make the world a better place?” This doesn’t have to mean finding a cure for a disease or coming up with a new invention. It can be simple. Ask someone how their day is. Smile more. Tell a loved one just how much you appreciate them. 

“To know even one person breathed easier because you have lived here. This is to have succeeded.” 

Consider this, and consider it often. Helping others is so crucial, especially in times like these. Is there something you could be doing, even something small, to make someone else’s life better or easier? If so, do it! 

Life is good.  – Jeff 

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