Living or Existing? Giving or Robbing?

Cemetery, Poetry, The Dash

Image Credit: Pamela Weaver

We get up each day, sometimes focusing on a long list of things to do, feeling the pressure of those things we have no control over. Yet, how do we live, I mean truly live? Do we merely exist or do we matter? Do we act like we have substance and something to contribute to the lives of others?

When I read this poem “The Dash” by Linda Ellis years ago, it made me think about my life, to question how I loved, what I contributed to others, and how to change those things within my power to live and do better. I’m sure you probably read this poem before. In light of so many lives lost for a myriad of reasons among family, friends or acquaintances, it is imperative that we stop, reflect and respond to do better and live better. 

~THE DASH~
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?