It is my fervent wish and my greatest ambition to leave a work with a few useful instructions for the pianists after me. – Franz Liszt
What does that mean?
This is a great quote, one that inspires us to leave the world a better place than when we arrived, and to assist others as best we can. That is the goal of most parents, but that is focused on a very small portion of humanity. I believe we can have an impact on a larger group than just our descendants.
Franz Liszt believed the same, and did what he could to help others. As he had learned from Frédéric Chopin, and was inspired by Niccolò Paganini, so he helped and inspired many others, including Richard Wagner, Edvard Grieg, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Hans von Bülow. If you are familiar with the poetic and romantic movements in European Symphonic music, you may recognize a few of those names.
He was also the equivalent of a rock star, and in his prime, gave nearly all his performance earnings away. He donated to churches, hospitals, and other worthy causes. He also provided funds for the Beethoven Monument, and raised funds to help the displaced from the Great Fire of Hamburg.
That’s a lot of helping of others, not only his piano students, but large chunks of north-central Europe in his day. His music and his methods are still studied today, and he continues to have influence among students of the piano and composition to this very day. “…a few useful instructions…” Yes, he did that, and so much more.
Why is preparing the way for those who follow important?
This is, in my opinion, the ultimate reason for being alive. It is the ultimate goal for every human. Some will cast this as narrowly as possible, and only apply it to a favored child or follower. Others will cast it as wide as all of humanity.
Yes, some few will say that they came up the hard way, and all the others can do the same. These knuckle-draggers will be with us until such a time as humanity manages to level-up on the spiritual side. I doubt that will happen in my lifetime, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to get us closer to that goal.
Some apply this to a campground, making sure it’s in better shape than when they got there (trash cleanup, maintenance, etc). Others apply it to their neighborhood, whether through graffiti abatement, highway and street cleanup, or volunteering at their local shelters. We can all help, and I believe we owe it to the future generations, to do the best we can to care for the planet and the people who call it home.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Seriously, where can’t you apply it? See some trash blowing across the parking lot? You can let it keep blowing, after all, you didn’t put it there, or you can grab it and make sure it is properly taken care of (trashed or recycled).
That’s just one quick example. Can you think of any others from your life this past week? Was there a person you met to whom you wish you had taken the time to simply smile and ‘Hi!’? Was there a point where you could have helped ease tensions between friends, family, or co-workers?
What of you knowledge and skills? Do you have a mentee (is that what you call the learner in a mentoring relationship?) to teach? It could be your own kid, or it could be anyone in a Scout, 4H, FFA or any other formal organization. Or it could be a kid from down the street.
Could you put a little more effort into yourself, and become a little more notable, and write a book or a blog? You could leave something very valuable to people you have never met, as did the author of the quote, who still influences pianists and composers around the world.
If you could chose one thing to tell the world, to help it be a better place or to enlighten future generations, what might that be? What help might you provide to someone coming up behind you? What bridge or trail might you leave for them, so that their way might be easier?
Now this is an optional activity in life, to be honest. We don’t have to do this, but I think life would be much less rewarding if we do not. To me, there is no greater feeling than to see someone succeed, and know that in some small way, I helped. Whether it was the initial push, a bit of timely guidance, or a tip on proper technique, it always feels good.
What are you willing to do to help others? Not as a replacement of your current goals in life, but along side of them. If you are in a profession, is there a less skilled person you could teach a thing or two? Is there a friend or neighbor who you could teach to do something?
In the olden days, people would gather and learn carpentry and the necessary structure for a building at a barn raising. They would sit together and work on large projects, like quilts or canning of produce. The knowledge wasn’t from a classroom or a book, but from other people who were trying to leave a few instructions for those who followed after them.
What can we do to make life a little better for those who follow after us? It’s not just a question, it’s a quest. Or at least it is for me. What will it be for you?
From: Twitter, @PianoLessonGirl
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/franzliszt314333.html
Photo by gj_theWhite
Happy to Franz Liszt, pianist & composer extraordinaire, born on 22 Oct, 1811.