Although we can't change the past, we can learn from it, be mindful of the present, and look forward to the future.

“How You Spend the Dash”

Although we can't change the past, we can learn from it, be mindful of the present, and look forward to the future.

In my first post of the year I wrote:

“Well it’s another New Year!

Time just keeps on moving doesn’t it?

No matter how much we might try, no matter how much we may want to resist, we can’t stop the train.

We can only move forward.

Think about it. Every new year is a year that will never happen again.

Every new day is a day that will never be repeated.

Every moment, once passed, is gone for good.

Realizing the truth of those words can bring forth  a variety of emotions such as fear and loss, as well as hope, opportunity, and a range of other feelings.”

I ended the post with a new year’s wish for you to be able to live and love boldly, take risks, reach your goals, learn lessons from your struggles, and continually aspire to be a better person than you were before.

I also wrote about my hope that you are able to find time to work in some way in service to others, and how I truly believe that really what you do for other people that can leave a lasting impact.

Ultimately, I hoped to express the importance of time, and my hope that we are able to continuously strive to live our lives to the fullest (whatever our definitions of that might be).

However even in the pursuit of happiness in our journey through life, no one is perfect, and I think it is important to take out some time periodically to look inside ourselves and see if our actions are matching our intentions and values.

I found an article online yesterday called “Top 5 regrets of the dying” that caused me to reflect on my own life. The article is about Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse who recorded the end of life wisdom from her patients for 12 weeks.

These were the top 5 regrets that she found:

  1. “I wish I’d have the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

  2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

  3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

  4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

You can read the original article for a more detailed explanation of her findings.

Although the list here is short, I’m sure each of those can spark a wide range of thoughts and feelings in the hearts and minds of those who read them.

Hopefully it will serve as a reminder to continually ask those tough questions, because its important to be proud of the way we “spend our dash” right?

What do you think?

Grace & Peace,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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