(Originally posted January, 2009)
I ran across an obituary which reflected on the dash between the years the person lived. This grandmother "lived simply, not rich or famous. She loved and laughed and that is how she lived her dash." By the way her years lived were 1916-2006.
How do you live your dash? For what will you be remembered?
These questions remind me of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the habits is 'Begin with the End in Mind.' How will people talk about you at your funeral? For what will you be remembered?
In the climax of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 one man who survived the end times reflected on what his grandfather said:
Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do … so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime. —Ray Bradbury
May 2009 be a time when we all reflect upon the important contributions we can make to those around us.