This week's Community Column is written by local minister, the Rev Ian Miller.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr Watson, were on a camping trip.

They were in their sleeping bags looking up at the sky. Holmes said: “Watson, look up. What do you see?”

Watson answered: “I see thousands of stars.”

“And what does that mean to you?” Holmes inquired.

“Well,” said Watson, “I suppose it means we will have a nice day tomorrow.” Watson paused for a moment and asked, “What does it mean to you, Holmes?”

“To me,” said Holmes sombrely, “it means someone has stolen our tent.”

It’s all about observation. I think it’s interesting how we are all so obsessed about how we look.

A well-known author wrote of his mother: “Being beautiful was her business, but when she lost her beauty...she was like a millionaire who runs out of money.

“She took her name out of the phone book and went ex directory. She felt she had nothing left to give. So she simply checked out of the world.”

What a sad story of someone who thought how she looked was the one thing that mattered.

An unknown author got right to the matter in a poem called, The Dash.

I read of a man who rose to speak at the funeral of his friend.

He referred to the dates on his memorial plaque from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of his birth, and spoke of the second with tears.

But he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that he spent alive on earth –

and now only those who loved him know what that little line is worth.

For 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 that dash.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and what’s real,

and always try to understand what way other people may feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more;

and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile –

remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash –

would you be pleased with the things they have to say about how you spent your dash?

A question for all of us. How are we spending our dash?

READ MORE: Click here for all the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond