Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is one of those books you just need to read. I read it once in high school, but I always feel it nice to go back and reread for things I may have not understood (or simply skipped) at the time. Towards the end of the book, Bradbury writes one of the most beautiful passages I’ve ever read in this type of literature through Granger, the wise character who consults protagonist Guy Montag meets after his escape from the city. The following quote can be applied to everything you do.
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.