The Dash Called Life

Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   A few days ago, I was watching an episode of The Middle together with my wife. At a certain point, one of the characters started talking about what’s happening when we die. Basically, we get a funeral stone on which it is written the date we were born, a dash and the date we died. So our entire life is represented by a dash on a funeral stone.

   Before you get all depressing, think about this idea for a second. If our life gets represented by a dash, is it really that important every little shit we have to face on a daily basis? Is it really that important that a random dude or dudette flips us the bird or cusses us or gives us a strange look? Is it really that important what people are going to say if we do what we want to do with our life? In the end, it’s our dash. Not theirs. If their dash is all about trying to bring others down, it’s their problem. Our problem is our own dash.

   Let’s put it this way. Do you think future generations will talk about those who tried to hold people down or they will talk about those who lived their lives at its fully potential? What kind of characters do we have now in our history books? About whose dash do we talk? The dash is too short to pursue perfection, but it’s long enough to have awesome imperfections.

   What would you look like for your dash to be remembered when you’re gone?

22 thoughts on “The Dash Called Life

  1. I can honestly say I don’t give a flip if I’m remembered or not. I go about my life like normal. I have always had that end thought in my head that I don’t want to be on my death bed with any regrets so I take chances and do things that I feel drawn to do that might scare me. BUT I don’t do any of it so someone else might be impressed or praise me for it. I’m sure my ending will be like my life right now where most won’t even notice if I’m here or not. People spend WAY too much time trying to impress other people and honestly it’s not worth it. I’m going to do what makes me happy and if that means I’m forgotten in the history of time that’s okay with me.

    1. In my opinion, it’s not about impressing others but about making other people’s lives better. That should be the goal, not the remembering or impressing part 🙂

      1. I have ALWAYS gone above and beyond to make other people’s lives better. If I never did another nice thing in my entire life I have already given more and done more than a man who might live two thousand years. I have sacrificed enough and it got me absolutely nothing.

  2. I used to believe I had to do something “great” to show I valued my life, that I’m living it to the fullest. Now I’m really just trying to focus on teaching my children values I think will be important to future generations. I know I can’t single highhandedly wipe out entitlement or wastefulness (just a couple examples), but I can do my best to guide my children. Gotta make those other words mean something too I suppose (thinking of the traditional “loving wife and mother” lines).

  3. No dashes here, the thinking is more like Hunter Thompson.. 🙂

    “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming; “Wow! What a ride!” Hunter S. Thompson

  4. I will be livid if there’s a stone with dates and a dash! There are clearly worded expectations as to what to do with my remains, sent to a number of people, and being part of a matching set of markers isn’t anywhere on there.
    If I’m remembered, I want it to be for caring. For listening and being a good friend. I want to leave this world a little kinder and maybe a little cleaner than when I came into it. Everything else is frosting on the cake.

  5. Our lifespan is like a dash. Death is the period at the end of the sentence. But we should live as if the punctuation that best describes us (and the time we spent here, on earth) is the exclamation point.

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