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Is It Live Love Laugh, or, Live Laugh Love?

Live, Laugh, Love
by Michelle Jones

Ever wonder about the origin of the popular saying, "Live, Laugh, Love"?

Or is it, "Live, Love, Laugh"?

Well, I've wondered. For years.

After researching the old saying today I was quite surprised at what I found. "Live, Laugh, Love" is taken directly from a contest winning essay written in 1904, by Bessie Anderson Stanley, of Lincoln, Kansas. (My great great grandparents lived in Kansas from about 1880-1905, before moving back to New York. So now I'm wondering... maybe they knew her? Or at least, maybe they were among the first readers to be inspired by her original essay?)

For over 100 years, the essay and saying have also often been mistakenly credited to Robert Louis Stevenson, or, Ralph Waldo Emerson. What a little gem of information to learn.

I was also happy to see the beautiful plaque we have in our home reads correctly...

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

And I've updated the title of my blog accordingly.

Here's the original essay by Mrs. Stanley...

Contest: What is Success?

Title: Success

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.

Author: Bessie Anderson Stanley of Lincoln, Kansas, 1904

Until next time...


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