Footsteps in Faith: The time between our ‘dash’ is precious

| March 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Philip Jeon
307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 516th Sig. Brigade, 311th Sig. Command



On the officer side of the Army, there is a document called “-1,” that is, “dash 1,” which is the officer’s support form in preparation for an officer evaluation report.

The Army has recognized the significance of this dash in the military arena, and it is likewise significant throughout human history.

Civilizations throughout history have also recognized the significance of the dash, which is evident on our respective tombstones and grave markings.

What is the dash all about?

When someone dies, two dates are normally included in the obituary and, subsequently, the tombstone: date of birth and date of death. The two dates are separated by a dash, and it represents the time the person spent on earth.

If you are an important public figure, chances are you will have an obituary published in the newspapers. It could be written either by a journalist or an equally famous friend who knows you well. The recent death of Whitney Houston is a clear reminder to us all.

Your list of accomplishments will be faithfully noted down. Things like the day you made your first million, the many famous people you had dinner with and the day you got a command will be shared.

In a stanza of the poem “The Dash,” written by Linda Ellis, she writes, “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?”

Rich or poor, famous or ordinary, the most meaningful account of anyone’s dash must surely be about how many lives have been touched by this person. Chasing significance in the lives of others instead of fleeting success is the key to a lasting legacy.

Pause for a moment as you read this stanza: “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.”

What, then, will your dash be? A sprint through the yellow brick road or an opportunity to make a difference on the road less traveled?


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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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