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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: The Dash

It all started with a quote I heard on the radio. It grabbed my attention and I couldn't let go of the thought. Interested in knowing what the quote that could snag my attention is?

"I am convinced that success is not measured by what you get out of life, but by what you give back." Jerry Moran

Stop and think about that for a minute. It took time for it to really sink into my mind, my heart and my spirit. So I began to wonder what I really give back? Do all the PB&Js lovingly put in 'special' baggies with printed characters and notes attached to milk money in lunchboxes really count as giving back? Does laundry and vacuuming and doing dishes count? While I think those things do give back to my family, I'm not sure it counts in the greater meaning of the quote. What gives back to the world?

Then I thought more about the other things I do. Does talking to a friend who is hurting give back? How about the times I stepped in when someone needed help at a MOPS meeting or a church event? What about being the Room Party Mom for a class who wouldn't get a party if a mom didn't come and help?

All these thoughts swirled around until I found myself tyring to remember the lines to the poem, "The Dash." I found that poem and read it over again. And once again, I'm struck by the simplicity of the words and how great their impact is to me.

So in my year of working to be more
Engaged, I want to focus on what I'm doing with my dash. What 'successes' will be counted as mine at the end of my life? I want to be a giver instead of a taker. As Jerry Moran said above, I want to be the person who is successful because of what I gave.

Enjoy reading "The Dash." And if you have picked out your word for this year, please let me know. I'd love to pray for you as you focus in on what that word is for you and your life this year.

The Dash Poem
by 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?

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