Life Without an Eraser

by Jon Long Sr on June 20, 2010

Fathers Day

Good Morning,

Jeanie shared a quote with me that apparently came from an unknown author.

“Life is drawn without an eraser.”

In looking it up, I came across this quote:

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” By John W. Gardner

I’m pretty sure that the first one is a paraphrase of the second.  So, I took the liberty of modifying it again into one that fits how I tend to look at life.

“We write the story of our life without an eraser.”

Today is “Fathers Day” and the 100th anniversary of the same.  While any day could be, we tend to set aside certain days for these kind of observances, so we can be organized when we celebrate things.  Such as it is in structured societies.  It is a time to think about our fathers and their fathers and if we are fortunate enough to be fathers ourselves, an opportunity to reflect on how we are doing and compare one to the next.

I was lucky in that I knew my father from the time I could first remember until the time he left us and his body behind to become once again part of the earth.  As a child all the way through adulthood, he was there to tap me on the right and left and sometimes on the butt to help keep me on an otherwise righteous path.  Of course after I left home it was a bit harder to do that, so his guidance came more in the form of suggestions and many times tactfully wrapped in his own experiences.  I have discovered with that approach, the “suggestions” go down better that way as we can then evaluate a situation, make our choices and own them.  Did I always take my father’s advice?  Nope.  Was his evaluation of any given situation always 100%?  Nope, but I would give him a 99% and that was only because there were things of which he was not aware.

Our life is a unique story and to be sure everybody has one.  We write it with every breath we take and every second is like a word and every minute becomes a sentence.  Then the days turn into paragraphs and the years into chapters.  There is no time to go back and erase a thing, even if we could.  There is no “undo” or “do over” button for this is hardcore, old school, pen and indelible ink and by the way, the teacher says there will be an exam at the end.  We didn’t get a textbook or manual, so we are pretty much left to learn from our “life lessons” as they come along and we experience them.  If we are wise, we learn from others mistakes, (many like the ones our fathers made) before we make them ourselves.

But make no mistake; there is just so much ink and paper allotted to each of us.  What we write, how we write and where we chose to expend our valuable time, is up to us.  Ask yourself what value are you putting on this moment, this irreplaceable commodity and is the story you write, one that others would like to read.  Is it?  Are you wasting time trying to change the past?  Are you focusing too much on tomorrow and missing today?  I can tell you that age has a way of putting things in perspective and if you are fortunate to live long enough to see it, you will be able to survey all of the choices you have made, whether you like them or not and the outcomes.  I think that is what some refer to as wisdom.  I’m not saying I am wise just because I am your dad and older than you, but I do have a head start.

Choose wisely, then own it.

Love, Dad

PS: While looking into this subject, I came across a blog that I feel had a relevant message.  If you have the time, take a moment and read the post Big Fat Pink Eraser by Kim Arnold.

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kim June 21, 2010 at 5:25 am

Hi, Jon

Thanks for linking to me.

I love this: “We write it with every breath we take and every second is like a word and every minute becomes a sentence. Then the days turn into paragraphs and the years into chapters.” Absolutely beautiful…and so true.

We do need to make every minute count. Thank you for the reminder of life’s transience.

Jon Long Sr June 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Kim, I was happy to link to your blog. I enjoyed the “Big Fat Pink Eraser” and will spend more time on your other posts. I have received good comments from friends that have also visited your site. Thank you, Jon

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