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Uit het boek 'Inside Obama's Brain'; When Obama's class graduated, on jun2 2, 1979, Punahou's then-president Roderick McPhee read aloud an old admonition, often attributes to Ralph Waldo Emerson but probably written by a woman named Bessie Stanley in the early twentieth century. McPhee urged his students, as they went out into the world,

 

To laugh often and mutch;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of childeren;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.