And so it is with Bradbury's astronauts in Kaleidoscope, who are free-falling through space to their death after their rocket explodes. One of the astronauts, Hollis, feels a streak of misery and malice, and begins to put down the others, especially Lespere who is content having lived a full life. Hollis contends that they are all the same: dead. But Lespere argues that he lived a full life and has his thoughts and memories, so he refuses to get mean like Hollis. Hollis realizes his indignity, and that there was a difference in lives. Lespere has memories of a full life and Hollis simply has dreams of things undone.
Thus is the brilliance of Bradbury: looking us dead in the eyes (or hearts) and challenging us to live a fulfilled life, to have our memories when we pass on, and have our peace. Like many of his stories, Kaleidoscope searches the recesses of our souls and encourages the reader to grab life by the reigns as Bradbury most certainly did. Great read, great therapy.