We live in a hectic time.
We hurry here, we scurry there.
It’s been said that when they excavate the ruins of 21st century America they will easily conclude that we worshipped clocks.
After all, we hang them on our walls and buildings.
We have them in every room of our houses and right next to our beds. We have them in our cars and at work too.
We even wear tiny clocks on our wrists!
Count the clocks in your life and you’ll see what I mean.
As busy people, we go through our days making decision after decision, choice after choice. But seldom do we slow down to reflect on how those choices and decisions will look on balance when we reach the end of our days.
Today we take a close look at doing just that. We consider how acting with integrity in the moment of choice will ensure that our lives end up being the testimony we want them to be.
If you have ever been to a cemetery you have probably noticed the straight rows of markers (some fancy, some simple) which testify to lives lived. Each marker bears a name, dates born and passed and sometimes a loving reference.
But a closer look reveals what each and every person had in common.
I’m talking of course about the dash.
That dash that represents what they chose to do with their lives between those two vital dates.
What occurs to me, what startles me, is that while I will choose neither the date of my birth nor the date of my death, I and I alone will be responsible for defining my dash.
That bears repeating …
While I will choose neither the date of my birth nor the date of my death, I and I alone will be responsible for defining my dash
And as I reflect on that it occurs to me that there are questions that must be asked.
While this list is not comprehensive, I hope it will be a good starting point for questions only you are qualified to answer.
Do we live in integrity?
While integrity has been defined in many ways, I believe it can best be defined as the space between your words and your deeds.
If you have children you have been blessed with a live-in integrity meter.
Just recently a third grader was sent to the principals office for cursing. The dutiful principal called the boy’s parents and soon the father arrived.
On being told what his son had done the father exclaimed “Where in the #%@* did he learn to speak like that?”
Do we live honestly?
A further question to ask is “Are we honest with ourselves?”
When we commit to an honest life, both with ourselves and others, we will find a quality of life that simply can not be purchased with any other currency. We will live clean, knowing that we can look others straight in the eye and be ourselves.
What do we value?
To put a finer point on this, do we value people over things?
While having things is fine, it is the people in our lives that enrich it. It is our communication with people, verbal and otherwise, that can help us become more than we ever imagined.
Human interaction empowers us to help others discover their true worth as well.
Let me encourage you to take my list and add to it. Create your own list. Review your goals and see how they align with what you want your dash to be.
Review your actions from the past day, week, month and see how wide the gap is between your words and your actions.
Examine yourself and determine if what you are doing is in harmony with what you really want.
While all of our dashes will be defined differently, I know this one thing for certain. When it comes to defining your dash, YOU are the author.
Make it the best dash it can be.
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