It’s not what we have acquired that matters. It’s what we leave behind.
For the first time in my life, I have attended a Japanese classical concert. It wasn’t long ago that I became so enamored with classical music ( I guess because of age? ) .
“Koto,” a 13-stringed instrument was the ringer of the performance and Shuretsu Miyashita II , a woman whose elegance and sophistication engages the audience with her superb performance.
The concert hall was packed with a diverse people. Adults, kids, teenagers, elderly , watchers, clappers and sleepers as well! Yeah, while I was enjoying the performance, two ladies beside me were in the dreamland snoring their way out! I couldn’t care less, the performance was excellent. During the break, I pulled out the program along with the performers’ profiles and found out that Shuretsu Miyashita II ‘s father had lost his sight when he was in high school. I couldn’t imagine how tough his life was when it happened. Yet , what really caught my attention wasn’t his condition but what he did with it. He not only learned playing Koto, he, later in his life, would invent the 30-stringed one and composed a number of scores which were greatly awarded!
C’mon! That’s amazing! Don’t you reckon?
Suddenly I remembered Ludwig Van Beethoven, he lost his ability to hear yet he was able to compose remarkable music as well! His works of art still fascinates and performed by so many around the world.
From these two great musicians from different countries I pondered what made them so great and their legacy endured. It wasn’t really the awards and attention they got when they were alive. It was what they left behind.
As if their souls were attached to every note being played. And these creations of greatness are being passed on to the next generation one after another.
Of course, music isn’t the only place we can leave our legacies behind. The late innovator, Steve Jobs left behind Apple . Mind you, no matter who takes over that company, we would always associate Apple with Steve Jobs.
Microsoft? Of course, you know it.. Bill Gates.
I have to admit, for more than a year I still thought that he was still MS’ CEO and probably would still think so in the years to come!
What about Helen Keller? Nelson Mandela?
Adolf Hitler? Saddam Hussein?
What would we leave behind?
Our society these days have blinded us with materialism and vapor-like popularity. It has taught us to think about only of ourselves and don’t mind under people’s business. “As long us I’m happy, and nobody is hurt, it’s alright.” Everything affects everything. Whatever we do or say or even think of, affects us or the people around us one way or another.
I spoke to one of my acquaintances recently about this matter.. he asked, why bother? A good life is finishing your studies and getting a good and stable job then getting married and having your family. After which you retire and spend the rest of your life travelling,taking pictures and golfing! That’s a good life isn’t it?
Yeah right. I bet you also nodded. I have nothing against such. It’s indeed a good life. But to me, what’s great about it? Is that what life is all about?
Isn’t everyone here meant for something great ?
Isn’t our objective to make life better than we found it?
Isn’t our responsibility to make the world a better place to live in for those who will come after us?
I wonder, what would be written on your epitaph.