Buckner spoke about “The Dash,” a book emphasizing living a good life and taking time to make a difference.
“This book is about living, it’s about life, enjoying life,” Buckner said.
The book, which he discovered not long after his father died, has helped him through some difficult times.
“He was really the first person I lost that I was very, very close to,” Buckner said.
Five months later Buckner’s mother also died.
“I was close to my parents, probably a little closer than a lot of children are. They were not only my parents but mentors to me,” Buckner said. Buckner encouraged the Rotarians to slow down the fast pace of life to spend time with their families, and be intentional about communicating with them. He encouraged them to build relationships instead of merely striving to be successful at work.
The ideas and principals in “The Dash,” as well as reading the Bible and receiving encouragement from friends, have helped him in the roller-coaster that has been his life of the past 18 months, including losing his daughter Shipley in a car accident, Buckner said.
In his work owning more than 30 funeral homes, Buckner said he has been to thousands of gravesites but had not thought about how the dash on a tombstone represents a person’s life until he read the book.
It is the dash, representing the life the person lived, that is important, not the beginning and ending dates, according to the book.
“Those are important dates, don’t get me wrong, but that middle line (that time) in between is what says every thing about that person,” he said.
He said the book holds a lot of meaning because it shows how to focus on what is really important.
“I hope my experience can help somebody correct maybe a fault they find in their own family,” Buckner said.
Buckner made a $5,000 contribution to the club in memory of his parents, Shipley and Max Carroll. Each Rotarian present was offered a copy of “The Dash” and encouraged to read it.
Buckner was a Rotarian 16 years ago. During that time he was named a Paul Harris Fellow, one of the highest awards in Rotary.
In other Rotary news:
Stephen Carroll presented the club with an update on a well and sanitation project to provide clean water to a community center in Guatemala. The club has applied for grants for the project and will be funding $17,500 of it. Carroll said this is about a third of the project.