I had the wonderful opportunity of attending a conference recently where a Mr. Jeff Hanson, a 24 year-old extremely gifted yet visually impaired artist – since having a brain tumor at 10 years-old – spoke about his life, alongside both his father and mother. At a young age, it became his mission to change the world and he is using his art to do it – he had donated a $1,000,000 from his arts sales by the young age of 20.
While the story was amazing, what resonated the most was his father’s perspective. He brought up the ‘pale blue dot’, the picture taken on February 14, 1990 from the Voyager 1 of the earth at a distance of nearly 4 billion miles away. This picture was .12 pixels in the frame and basking in the ray of light, looked like a pale, blue dot. He then brought up the famous poem ‘The Dash’ by Linda Ellis and reminded us how the poem points out that the dates on a tombstone are simply separated by a dash. In other words, all the years of our lives from our birth to our death is merely represented on our tombstone as a dash… and that that the line is worth everything to us and those who love us but that ‘.. it matters not, how much we own, the cars..the house…the cash. What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash.’
So, the father continued to say that while his life originally fell apart when his son was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 10, a decade later, they have found their purpose and calling and looking at the world as but a spec in a photo and life as but a dash, that all difficulties will pass and to just find the meaning and purpose with the dash you have been given on this pale blue dot.
It was a profound perspective.