By Ray Bradbury
This poignant extract reminds us that success is not measured in terms of fame or fortune; rather, it is measured in the impact we made on the lives of those around us, and how we are remembered after we are gone.
An extract from Fahrenheit 451
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 as 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.
Many of us have read Fahrenheit 451at some point it our lives whether it was in high school or college. Myself I never did; it may have been on the recommended reading list and I probably just chose another book to read. I was more for reading John Steinbeck then science fiction. It was not until my adult years I finally decided to read Fahrenheit 451 and I discovered it wasn’t what I thought it would be about. I won’t give the plot of the book away, though I would recommend reading it.
By now you may be saying to yourself, “What in the world is he getting at?” I use this quote quite often at funerals its one along with a few others that sends a clear message about the value of a person’s life. We don’t often realize what an impact some people have made on our lives until they have left this life and moved to another plane of life.
We as a people go through each day of life living what we consider to be our best life. We have families, children, grandchildren, parents, friends and pets. What we don’t realize is that one day those we love are going to leave us. Now we have the task of celebrating a life, and cherishing what we once had. We are faced with a task of summing up a life lived and we ask ourselves how exactly do I do this? One way is to take a look at the words above and let your mind wander to the moments of life with your loved one, the moments that impacted your life. Then let those thoughts run freely through your mind taking a few moments to write them down as you tell the story of a life lived.