Posted by: Christine L. | February 18, 2010


Yesterday was Ash Wednesday in the Roman Catholic tradition, and I understand some Protestant churches do this as well:  the penitent goes up to the priest or minister, who makes a cross on their forehead out of ashes, intoning the words:  “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”, or “Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return”.

I’ve always thought it was a good tradition, whether or not you even believe in God or an afterlife.  Because we are all going to die someday.  And it’s helpful to remember that, when we get caught up in the day-to-day traumas of life that maybe aren’t quite as traumatic, in the long run, as we like to think.

For example, when someone cuts you off in traffic, you can either get pissed at them, shoot them the finger, and chase after them in an attempt to return the favor.

Or – you can just remember that someday they’re going to die, as are you, and wish them well on their journey through this perilous life.

(And you may be forgiven for hoping that their journey finishes within the next couple of blocks.)


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