My mom has been a piano teacher since before I was born (I can’t play “Happy Birthday to You” to save my life – not her fault – my lack of talent), and I remember her saying her favorite composer was Chopin.
She would passionately describe one of the first films she watched at a movie theater in the 50’s called “A Song to Remember”, which depicts the life of Frédéric Chopin, the great pianist and composer from the 1800’s.
A few weeks ago I decided to search for it in YouTube and there it was in all its glory, even with Portuguese captions. I immediately called her and we both watched it (well, she watched in Brazil and I watched here in the U.S.).
Even though the movie may not be historically precise, it shows Chopin’s struggle between his purpose of helping his native Poland, under Russian oppression, with his fame and fortune, and the more practical side of focusing on his career.
In the movie he eventually follows his purpose and principles, despite of the negative personal consequences (if you have a couple of hours to watch it, there is a link on the bottom – the second one).
I was wondering how many times we follow what we believe to be our purpose and our principles, and how many times we compromise those for the more convenient short term benefit.
Coincidentally, in one of the episodes of the TV series “Downton Abbey” the old Violet is fighting for what she believes to be the right thing to to, when someone challenges her that what she wants is not “common sense”. She replies “I will take Principles over Common Sense any day”.
I am leaving for work in a couple of minutes, and I want to keep this in mind: my principles are more important than the momentary advantage of not following them.
Maybe if you listen to Chopin’s Polonaise (first link below) you will be inspired to fight for your principles, and not compromise:
And here is the full movie (with Portuguese captions):