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Will You Live Your Dash?

by Vidya Sury January 2, 2019 4 comments
Will you live your dash?

I read The Dash over twenty years ago when a friend sent it to me. I was both excited and overwhelmed at the simplicity and profound meaning within. So much that I wrote and pinned it where I can see it often. Every single day.

It’s a beautiful affirmation and a reminder to live our best lives. I thought it was perfect for the first Wednesday Wisdom post of the year.

When Linda Ellis wrote The Dash poem in 1996, she probably had no idea how impactful the poem would become.

The poem is an inspirational reminder that it’s not about the number of years we spend on this earth, it’s about how we live those years that truly matters.


To “live your Dash” means to boldly live a life that impassions you while positively impacting your family, friends, community and even strangers. Your Dash need not be perfect; it’s an ongoing journey to living a life filled with joy and intention, and it looks different for everyone.

Let’s now enjoy the poem.


By Linda Ellis, Copyright © 1996-2018 Southwestern Inspire Kindness, Inc., thedashpoem.com

I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of 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 they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them 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 still can be rearranged.

To 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 lived your dash?


Will you live your dash?

Will you live your dash? #inspirationalpoems #mindfulness #personaldevelopment #quotes

Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of non-fattening, easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.

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Sunita Saldhana January 3, 2019 at 9:47 pm

I too had read the poem a long, long time ago. It is one of those poems that stay with you forever, popping up suddenly in your conscious mind to remind you to live.

ajay kumar January 4, 2019 at 4:11 am

Excellent madam,
Many of us try to live our dash, but a minimal will live their dash positively without effecting others ..!! Thats actually a great thing living upto once fullness without being worrying about all nuisance.

Esha M Dutta January 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Thank you for sharing this lovely poem, Vidya. I just realised how we interpret poetry differently, depending on which stage of life we’re in.
Esha M Dutta recently posted…When Twilight Comes | #SkywatchFriday

pranita deshpande January 6, 2019 at 11:42 pm

Very nice post.


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