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 her date of her 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 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?
Did you know the girl you openly judged last night struggles every single day with self confidence?
Did you know that girl is battling ongoing depression?
Did you know that girl is struggling everyday to find a purpose, even a smidge of worth?
Did you know that girl hides in her house and has no friends here?
Did you know that girl grew up feeling like she didn't belong?
Did you know that she feels emotions so deep that it's nearly paralyzing sometimes?
Did you know that she cries countless times everyday?
Did you know that she suffers in silence everyday, for the chronic pains and disease her body carries?
Did you know that girl gives tirelessly and selflessly to those around her?
Did you know that girl has been hurt by so many, yet still has faith good people still exist?
Did you know that girl has tried taking her life before?
And did you know while you went on probably not giving her another thought/laugh, that she's cried hours since running into you last night? That she's been frozen in a moment looking at herself through your eyes and words she just witnessed. That despite all her heart knows to be true, her head just won't listen right now. She is trapped, trying to fight the battle in her head from the thoughtless actions you took on a stranger. One day this experience will be a victory step for her, but for now...she just feels less than she did before.
I pray you wake up one day, very soon!! Words hurt...they run deep. Judging someone is a sign of your own self. And doing it all while raising a kid, who was sitting right in the cart you pushed...well, that's raising another human being to be just like you. She'll grow up to believe there's only one 'perfect' image of a person. She'll grow up calling herself fat when she gains 2lbs. She'll grow up thinking 'skinny' is the same as being healthy. She'll grow up to be the same judgy, unkind person you are...UNLESS you break the cycle. PLEASE break the cycle for your little girls' future!! The world needs less judgy people, and a lot more people who will pay strangers compliments.