The traffic was thick driving home from work yesterday. Freeways backed up with hundreds of people rushing to their destination, carried in their metal time capsule, transported from one point to the another. Impatient, tailgating, no consideration for the well being and endangerment of others, people appeared rushed and stressed to the max. Mind you, that growing up on the autobahn in Germany, it is by no means that I am a slow driver, but most days I’m just no longer in a rush. I sight-see to witness the beauty around me vs rushing through it. I leave myself enough time to get to where I need to go, which also gives me the patience to deal with delays. I guess you could say that I have learned to take time to smell the flowers while speed will always be a part of my DNA that is required to be unleashed from time to time. I was surrounded by life, by hundreds of people and yet I felt alone. Everybody was in their cars, staring straight ahead with the most stern and serious of looks you could imagine. At one point I felt like a was stuck in a race against robots incapable of feelings, programmed to reach their goal and destination without human emotions. Who would be the winner, the most desensitized, the least caring? I sensed the stress levels rising while anxiety was cutting out everything, allowing the freeway to become an electrified, buzzing web of “Lifeless life”. I was waiting for lightning rods to struck the ground at any second, but of course nothing happened other than me feeling as if the life was being choked out of me.
What would happen if I made eye contact with the driver next to me? He chose not to pay any attention or notice me and had completely tuned me out. Perhaps on purpose to mind his business, to not draw any attention and avoid ticking someone off. My mind could entertain the simplest of subjects all day long and after all you heard people getting killed in road rage incidents every day. My mind was drifting with nothing else to do. Same with the next car and the next as we sat in bumper to bumper traffic. What would happen if I smiled and waived back at a stranger? Could a smile make someone’s day or was it something too far fetched to even imagine in today’s world. Maybe people would think I had gone mad, but then on the other hand, I had always loved the surprise factor and the unexpected. Go ahead and think that I can’t do something and give me the greatest motivation to prove you wrong. You will also find my face when it comes to doing things out of the ordinary as I am somewhat of my own trailblazer. But was this just my opinion or was it the sad truth of how little regard and consideration most show when it comes to the life of other people? Maybe I would find myself pleasantly surprised and receive a smile back. And maybe it’s just an observation that doesn’t require giving up on humanity just yet. It was a moment of letting my mind wander, free to entertain the possibilities that I knew stemmed based of the impacts of recent events.
I can’t deny that I felt a certain human detachment in those moments on the freeway, the distance and coldness fueled by the lack of care and compassion that I have seen and witnessed over and over. Not that I’m saying we all should waive at each other all the time. That humanity is saved based on acknowledging each other on the freeway, even though I do believe that a smile can go a long, long way and can make someone’s day. I have a choice and I will take this as a mere reminder to slow down and put in perspective what truly matters. To continue to push towards my goals as I remember stage 7 in the steps of spiritual awakening and manifest the life that is in line with my highest self.
And so it is that yesterday reminded me of a beautiful poem, called “The Dash” written by Linda Ellis. It continues to shed perspective when the challenges of life carry me away. When I lose focus sand stress the little stuff that won’t matter in a year. When I need a reminder that the daily little things will end up to be the most important things in our lives some day, as they will all add up.
Today I want to bring perspective to my humble little blog and to you through this beautiful poem that made me pause and reevaluate a few things. It was life changing from the first time that I read it and I hope you enjoy and find your own wisdom between the lines.
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates of 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?