Saturday, January 15, 2022

Legacy, Immortality, What really Matters?

Will I be remembered after I'm gone? This is a question many people ask. In the 1984 movie Amadeus, Mozart's rival composer, Salieri, recounts his life-long obsession with composing music that will survive beyond his death. As portrayed in the movie, his obsession made him act in shameful ways. He became a dishonorable person. Then, approaching the end of his life, he despairs that Mozart's music has survived while his own music has gradually become extinct. 

When we listen to the great music of Mozart, we may marvel at how it has endured through time. As if Mozart is somehow still with us. Perhaps immortality is possible after all. But the truth is, Mozart is gone. He died in 1791. No good nor harm can come to him now. So it is of little use to Mozart that people still listen to his music. It means nothing to him.

What matters then? Perhaps not that you have posthumous fame. You will never know. What matters is how you live your life right now. If you enjoy creating music, do your best - not so that you can benefit from it being remembered for hundreds of years, but because of the impact it has on you and the people of this time. Live a just and admirable life. Make yourself into the best human you can be right now. That is what counts.