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Copyright © 2005 by Simple Truths / Linda Ellis Published by Simple Truths 1952 McDowell Road, Suite 300 Naperville, Illinois 60563 800-900-3427 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or any other – except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Photo Credits: Steve Terrill ( Front cover, and pages 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 42, 45, 48, 52, 55, 59, 66, 68, 72, 75, 78, 82, 83, 85, 86. Bruce Heinemann ( pages 71, 91. Todd Reed ( pages 80, 84. Shutterstock and Thinkstock pages 92-135 Design: Rich Nickel and Lynn Harker Editor: Jennifer Svoboda Printed and bound in The United States of America ISBN 978-1-60810-172-6 E-book

Table of Contents 8 Introduction by Mac Anderson 12 The Dash by Linda Ellis 38 The Dash (complete) 40 How will you spend your Dash? 42 Slow Down 46 True and Real 50 Feelings 56 Anger 60 Appreciation 64 Love 68 Respect 72 Smile 76 Change 80 Making a Difference 88 The Story Behind The Dash 92 The Power of The Dash: Our Readers Share Their Stories

(Pages 92-142)




remember it like it was yesterday. I had received a handwritten note from Anna Lee Wilson, a Successories franchisee from Evansville, Indiana, and at the bottom of the note was a postscript that read: “I know you have inspirational poems, and this is my all-time favorite. It’s titled, The Dash, by Linda Ellis.” Now, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve read something that stopped me in my tracks … words that bypassed the brain and went straight to the heart. This was one of those moments. I immediately thought … how could I use my talents to share these powerful, thought-provoking words with the rest of the world?


I contacted Linda Ellis, introduced myself, and told her how much I love her poem. She told me how, in one afternoon in 1996, she was inspired to write The Dash. Her life, she said, has not been the same since then. And it hasn’t been for anyone who has ever read her powerful words either! That conversation sparked our publication of The Dash in 2005. Since we started Simple Truths almost seven years ago, we’ve been blessed to publish over 100 inspirational books, written by some of the best authors in the world. But of all the books we’ve created, none have had the emotional response of The Dash.

How do we know? Because we’ve heard from thousands of people all over the world telling us how The Dash has touched their souls and changed the way they think about life. That’s what this Special Edition of The Dash is all about. It’s to celebrate life! It’s to thank all those wonderful people for sharing how The Dash has made a difference in their lives and to inspire you to make a difference with yours. I invite you to experience the power of Linda’s poem and the content of our original book. On page 92, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the wonderful stories submitted by our readers about the impact the book has had in their lives. I hope it’ll inspire you to live your dash with passion! Live with passion,

Mac Anderson Founder, Successories and Simple Truths


TheDash By Linda Ellis




read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

from the beginning‌to the end.


e noted that first came the date of her birth

and spoke of the following date with tears,

but he said what mattered most of all‌

was the dash between those years.


or that dash represents all the time

that she spent alive on earth

and now only those who loved her

know what that little line is worth.


or 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.


o think about this long and hard;

are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.


f we could just slow down enough

to consider what’s true and real…

and always try to understand

the way other people feel.


nd be less quick to anger

and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives‌

like we’ve never loved before.


f we treat each other with respect

and more often wear a smile‌

remembering that this special dash

might only last a little while.


o 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?  

Weho pet ha ty o ue nj o y e d r e a di ngt hi sf r e eo nl i nepr e v i e w. Y o uc a npur c ha s et he c o mpl e t eb o o ka ta nyt i me b yv i s i t i ngusa t : www. s i mpl e t r ut hs . c o m

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Simple Truths: The Dash  

When Linda Ellis wrote her poem, "The Dash", in one afternoon twelve years ago, it would change her life forever. In 239 words, she captured...

Simple Truths: The Dash  

When Linda Ellis wrote her poem, "The Dash", in one afternoon twelve years ago, it would change her life forever. In 239 words, she captured...

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