Happy New Dash!

By: Francis B. Ongkingco December 30,2016 - 08:08 PM

“Happy New Dash!” Wouldn’t this be a great catchy greeting for the New Year? I bet it could easily start a cyber-trend gaining a few hundred (maybe a thousand!!!) hits and likes?

Nah!!! I don’t think so.

It might even cause more confusion and bewilderment. So, let’s just stick to the good-old ‘Happy New Year!!!’

But why did I think of DASH!!!!?

I was reminded about it from a story of two brothers who accompanied their father to the cemetery.

Just to keep them busy and productive, their father challenged them: he would give a surprise treat to the one who finds out who were the youngest and oldest persons in the cemetery. He gave them till noon to finish the challenge.

The younger son returned with unbeatable numbers: a zero for the youngest and 1933 for the oldest.

The father guessed how his son got the zero, but he was a curious about 1933. Surely, there was a mistake since no one could live that long.

He verified the tombstone and realized that it only had the person’s year of birth and not his death. His son simply subtracted it from a zero giving back the same number.

The father took advantage of this to explain the lesson of the ‘dash’. He said, that between the two years of our life we often ignore the dash. But this symbol represents an entire life of joys and trials, successes and failures, adventures and discoveries, love and sacrifice, etc.

* * *

Given this seemingly harsh reduction of life into an insignificant dash, we can still learn a number of things from it: the brevity of life, birth and death as the equalizers of life, and the horizontal movement of life.

Every dash is drawn short between the two years: in other words, life is very short! And that we have to strive to make the most out of it as we consider each day to be the edge of our dash.

The length of each dash is drawn equally: we are all equal when it comes to the two existential points that we have no control over: the day of our birth and the day of our death. We are all equal since there is nothing that any one man may possess over others (i.e. talent, knowledge, connections, wealth, etc.) that can override these two planes.

Finally, the horizontal position of the dash implies movement and direction. Man’s life is not hanging over some existential void. His life is a container of time which propels him to freely orient and transform himself towards the happiness and perfection intended for him by God.

This last meaning of the dash is my favorite! It has so much life and dynamism in it. It describes how man is a being in motion, not only a temporal one, but above all an eternal one towards God.

This motion is not something we must set only at the end of life. We must activate it constantly! We dash towards God through our prayers, sacrifice, our virtues and good works and the untiring giving of self to others.

Live life! It is short! Love it intensely in the things that will last beyond it: love, sacrifice, kindness, forgiveness, etc. And since we are all equal in this daily dash, let’s not be competitive with one another, but compassionate.

Thus, every time we strive to daily dash eternally, we leave behind our selfishness, our pride and attachments. Every dash renews us, reinvents us and keeps us vigilant in our love for God and others.

When the final moment of our life comes, as it will for everyone, the dash into the next will not be arduous or unfamiliar. Our dash-full life would have prepared us adequately and tensely to jump into our Heavenly Father’s loving embrace.

Happy New Dash!!!

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TAGS: bewilderment, busy, cemetery, confusion, dash, greeting, happy, Happy New Dash, happy new year, Joy, life, New Year, person, productive, trial, YEAR

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