Monday, July 28, 2008

The Dash

A note from for Tuesday July 29 2008

Welcome to this fine Tuesday.

As expected, I’ve been having a whole bunch of conversations in the past few days about the impact that Dr. Randy Pausch has had on my life. It has been a time of great celebration, and much learning.

I used much of his example as a conversation during our weekly team conference call on Monday evening, and it felt just wonderful being able to voice out loud what I have gained from Randy’s legacy.

During the call I was reminded by an associate of a poem written by Linda Ellis that I read in 1997. In fact, I first read the poem on an plane. Can you just imagine, there I was, all 200 lbs of me, sitting bubbling while reading it.

So my friends, in honor of Randy Pausch, I get to share that wonderful poem with you.

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 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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