Day 679

This morning I made a presentation titled ‘Understanding Resilience’ for a bunch of young doctors. While going over my slides for the last time just before leaving home, I made a few minor changes.

The very first slide had my name on it with the prefix ‘Dr’. I deleted that. It wasn’t important. I was going to speak to them as a fellow human being about being human. I remember the time when it meant the world to me to have that title. I completely identified with it. Now, it doesn’t matter.

After I put Saagar’s picture on a slide I went on to add his date of birth and date of death. Between the two dates, I inserted a dash. In that moment I realised – this is where life happens. In that little dash.

That’s it.

Updated with the help of a friend within minutes of posting the above:

The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

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 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?


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