Think BiG Thoughts No.16

The Dash

Linda EllisI 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 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
that 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 can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And 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 spent YOUR dash?

~  Linda Ellis
copyright 1996

I only came across this poem very recently and it really moved me, particularly, on my very first reading.

I was so struck by it that I decided to read it to Nicola – or, more accurately, I tried to read it to her. As I progressed through the verses, my eyes started to well up and my voice started to quiver – such was the impact it had on me.

It reminded me of the powerful effect that words can have on us and of the importance of great communication.

It reminded me that life can be fleeting, as it triggered treasured memories of friends and family that are no longer here to share life’s journey with us.

It reminded me that we need to make the most of every day. That we should ‘squeeze the juice out of life‘, enjoy what we have and strive to make our dreams come true.

Most of all it reminded me that, ultimately, it’s all about the people who share life’s journey with us. They’re the ones that bring joy to our world. They’re the ones that give life meaning and they’re the ones that we should love because, as I’ve learned over the last few years, the more love we give, the more love we receive.

So, my advice to you is to love life, love the people around you and love what you do!

Remember: If you’re going to think, you might as well Think BiG Thoughts!

Have a great day,

Steve Bimpson