Why Do It? This is the most important question we can ask.
“I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must out; that is the reason why I compose.” Ludwig van Beethoven
As I prepare for my upcoming role as Beethoven in 33 Variations at Threshold Theatre, here in Charleston, I am reading his words to see the man without filters. But of course, we have to assume, though his words are deeply felt, there may have been a thought on his part about the picture they might paint of his life.
Not to be overly cynical, nor overly idealistic, I feel a sense of the showman in his words. But I also am very moved by the truth in them. I believe, as he did, that at the end of the day, no man can successfully dedicate his life to the pursuit of a vocation that is not his true life’s work. Many try. Some succeed. Most never will, because our heart knows when it’s being tricked. Most of us spend our lives running away from our larger purpose. Some are lucky to eventually find it and make it the primary activity in their lives. When we do this, we are successful, whether or not it is manifested in material rewards or fame. We realize what is most important, the one thing that allows us to sleep at night, where we are truly at peace. What is that one thing? Our place in relation to Source.