Skip to Content

Be the Gardener

By Marc Watterson, Government Relations Director, Utah


During the Holiday Season we often take time to reflect on the past and give thanks for what we have and what we have been able to accomplish. As we take time to give thanks may we also pause a moment to consider the impact that our efforts through the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have been able to make.

I’ve recently been on a bit of nostalgic kick and have been going back and (re)reading books from high school. I finished Fahrenheit 451 recently and wanted to share a few lines that really struck me: 

“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.” 

― Ray Bradbury 

One of the amazing things about our work is the potential for real, lasting impact that we can make and leave behind in our state and communities. The sidewalks that will be built, the kid who never picks up a cigarette, the mother or father that is saved through CPR, the infant that will make it home – all of this and so much more is the lasting legacy that we build and leave behind. 

So often it is easy to get bogged down in the day to day minutiae of our work: e-mails, phone calls, conversations. But never forget the lasting impressions that we are leaving behind. Sometimes I feel like I lose sight of this. In the race to get things done sometimes we forget that all of it counts. All of it matters. Recognition or not, we all leave something behind. 

I hope that this quote inspires you like it did me. If you have other quotes from books, coworkers, great-aunts, or anyone else that inspires you, please share it with us. I’d love to hear/read the things that keep you going and push you to greatness! 

And, as you consider all that you have to be thankful for during this time of year, may your gratitude for and commitment to the Mission of American Heart Association/American Stroke Association be renewed. For, lest we ever forget, the work we do saves lives and makes a significant impact in our communities each and every day. Yes, when it comes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, You’re the Cure!  

Share This Story

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.