Why that dash (above) is so important at this time of year

This is not a column about our crazy and compelling industry, but rather a holiday message. I’m not a morose person. But at least once a week in my travels here in east Toronto, I pass by a cemetery. All those gravestones remind me that I have a limited amount of time on this earth. The names on each are different; the dates are different. But the one thing that never changes is that small dash between a person’s birth date and the day they die.

It occurred to me that what matters most in life is that little dash, for that dash represents all the time we’ve spent alive on this planet. And only you (and possibly your friends, loved ones and co-workers) realize just how precious that little line is. What also occurred to me was how lucky we are because we still have the time to change – to become better people and show more respect to others, especially in this age of searing social media and pernicious politics.

There’s another trip I take whenever I start to feel sorry for myself. I usually end up in the lobby of Canada’s renowned Sick Kids Hospital. I see toddlers, fighting cancer and other insidious diseases, hooked up to intravenous drips as they drag their parents along with them. That’s when I realize that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. So, for my New Year’s resolution, I’m going to try to be a kinder person and listen more before I speak. I guess that’s why God gave us two ears and one mouth! How about you? How are you going to spend your dash this holiday season?

Until next time, always remember that we’re here to help.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.