A terminally ill girl wrote this poem...or so the story goes. I picked the poem up from the status-quo-shattering book The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. Whether a terminally ill girl wrote it or not, it does make you think...

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

''Do you run through each day
On the fly?''

When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die

Cause you never had time
To call and say "Hi"?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.

Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower

Hear the music
Before the song is over.

Madonna Magdalene by Kim Garcia
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

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~mauri — 14 June 2007, 11:40

This one is not witten by ill child according to Snopes.

I try to google things like this before passing them along. I use search terms derived from the writing: a phrase in quotes preceded by 'urban legend' or 'snopes' will usually give me the info I need.

From Snopes.com

Slow Dance

Claim: A 7-year-old girl named Amy Bruce is dying of lung cancer and a brain tumor. Status: False. Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1999] This poem was written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital. It was sent by a medical doctor. Make sure to read what is in the closing statement AFTER THE POEM. SLOW DANCE Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round, or listened to rain slapping the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight, or gazed at the sun fading into the night? You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last. Do you run through each day on the fly, when you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, with the next hundred chores running through your head? You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last. Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow, and in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, let a friendship die, 'cause you never had time to call and say hi? You better slow down, don't dance so fast, time is short, the music won't last. When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, it's like an unopened gift thrown away. Life isn't a race, so take it slower, hear the music before your song is over. PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO HELP THIS LITTLE GIRL. ALL FORWARDED E-MAILS ARE TRACKED TO OBTAIN THE TOTAL COUNT. Dear All: PLEASE pass this mail on to everybody you know. It is the request of a special little girl who will soon leave this world as she has cancer. Please send this to everyone you know or don't know. This little girl has 6 months left to live, and as her dying wish, she wanted to send a letter telling everyone to live their life to the fullest, since she never will. She'll never make it to prom, graduate from high school, or get married and have a family of her own.. By you sending this to as many people as possible, you can give her and her family a little hope, because with every name that this is sent to, The American Cancer Society will donate 3 cents per name to her treatment and recovery plan. One guy sent this to 500 people! So I know that we can send it to at least 5 or 6... Just think it could be you one day. It's not even your money, just your time! PLEASE PASS ON AS A LAST REQUESTDr. Dennis Shields, Professor Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology 1300 Morris Park Avenue Bronx, New York 10461

The "Slow Dance" poem was written not by a "terminally ill young Origins: If e-mail were baseball, this message would be an automatic out, because it starts out with three strikes against it: the poem it features wasn't written by a terminally ill young girl, the American Cancer Society won't contribute money for every person the message is sent to, and no doctor is urging that you forward it along to others.

Taking these points in order, we note: girl in a New York Hospital" who wanted "as her dying wish to send a letter telling everyone to live their life to the fullest," but by David L. Weatherford, an adult male child psychologist. This message is one of many variants of the same basic long-running hoax, one which falsely claims that the American Cancer Society or some other charitable or medical organization will donate a set amount of money every time a particular e-mail is forwarded. The doctor whose name appears at the end of the text (Dr. Dennis Shields of the Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University), has nothing to do with this message; his signature block inadvertently became affixed to the text long after it had begun circulating on the Internet. This message, like all its variants, offers the appeal of something for nothing; the chance to make a difference in someone else's life simply by pressing a few keys on a keyboard and forwarding an e-mail along to others. Ultimately, however, this message delivers only what has gone into it: nothing.

Additional information:

     	Chain E-mail (American Cancer Society) 

Last updated: 27 March 2005 The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/medical/slowdance.asp

Urban Legends Reference Pages 1995-2005 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson This material may not be reproduced without permission.

   Sources: 
    Crowe, Rosalie Robles.   "Sorrowful E-Mail Just a Hoax." 
    The Arizona Republic.   22 May 1999   (p. B4). 

~CH — 27 June 2007, 00:09

Thanks mauri I use to google as well to find out if such messages are spam or not. I did so, and found your comments. Good!

~Brent — 27 June 2007, 07:56

Interesting that the fact checkers (if any) missed this before publishing Ferriss' book.

~Sad — 30 September 2007, 11:07

I think it's unethical of Ferriss to trick his readers into believing he got this poem from a sick and dying girl. His whole book stinks of unethical behaviour -- is this what America has become? Sad.

~Brent — 30 September 2007, 12:05

Yeah, I can't say I would trust Ferriss to any great length, at least from the impression I gained from his book.

However, I do think he has some really good ideas and principles, which we can use ethically (or not).

I guess the test of his ethics is to ask: Where would the world be if everyone followed his principles? The golden rule works well under this hypothetical. Not so sure about Ferriss' rules.

~Sad for America — 08 October 2007, 02:51

Brent, have you seen the wikipedia article on Ferriss? I have a feeling he's made up large parts of his resume and book. The ideas in his book are not new at all, he's just used new terminology to describe old ideas. Definitely a snake oil salesman in my book. Worst of all, his publisher doesn't seem to have checked his work or his claims before publishing the book. Recommend everyone to read the book Bare Faced Messiah, a well-researched book on the real life of L Ron Hubbard, con man of the century.

~Brent — 08 October 2007, 17:38

Yeah, I had a look at this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_4-Hour_Workweek

I'm sure the ideas aren't new, but that's not a bad thing. What's troublesome is how much Ferriss' biographical claims are being disputed. As with anything, I guess all you can do is take what resonates with you and forget about the rest....and always "enjoy then journey."

~sheltonus — 11 December 2007, 23:10

The thing is, is that adding all the extras presents the poem as something it isn't, like a used car salesman telling me that a HotRod was only driven back and forth to church on Sundays. I get the feeling that something is wrong with the poem. Why not let the poem stand on it's own merits instead of propping it up with lies?