Sunday, March 18, 2012

the dash

last night I attended a fundraiser for the Cardinal Stepinac Children's Center, in Port au Prince Haiti. about 140 people came together with the goal of raising money to build a school for the 50 orphaned/abandoned children who live there.

the guest of honor at the event was Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlon. during her speech she talked about how volunteering in Haiti has changed her life (boy, can i relate). she reminded us that no matter how young or old we may be, we can all start from today and live our lives with purpose, focusing on the things which are most important to us and making a difference in the way that we feel called to do so.... she read a poem which really brought that message to life - i had never heard it before but i will definitely add it to my collection:

The Dash © 1996 Linda Ellis

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

He noted that first came the date of her 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 that she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her 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?

1 comment: