Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Like You


I very recently read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and one of the characters said something that was, to me, very interesting, so I decided to make a post of it (also, I’m very lazy today).

Here’s the quote:

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

I talked before about leaving behind a legacy, and this sort of adds to the point.  When you create something, make something that’s like you when you take your hands away, you’re leaving yourself there.

If you’re lucky, that part of you will spread into the world and build and grow until it has become a part of society (e.g. Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein).

But even if you’re not lucky and all you made was one shoe, you will still be living in the world for longer than you would have (except if someone burns it to ashes).

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