Today I awoke feeling very sad as if I was grieving. There are certainly many things going on in the world to grieve. A few days ago the woman that made me wanna sing, passed from this life. Whitney Houston was my idol and inspiration when it came to vocals. Her struggles saddened me, but never took away from the memories her gift gave me. Her voice will always be golden to me. Rest in Peace.
I lay in bed this morning thinking about people and specifically those who are gifted and famous. I realize that being in the spot light of the media can be a burden that is difficult to carry alone. Often is difficult just to go through life all by itself without the added scrutiny of the media and the public eye. That is the fame vantage point. But what about the gifts and abilities that inspire awe in some and unfortunately envy and hate in others? We often seek to destroy that which we don't understand, that which is different from ourselves, and that which we desire and see in others but not in ourselves. Those who have these gifts and abilities are often very lonely and misunderstood and cope with a lot of emotions that they are not able to deal with in a healthy way with others. Often this manifests in the form of substance abuse or other forms of abuse. Many gifted musicians over time seem to have been tortured and tragic in their endings and they are often appreciated for their gift, and then judged harshly for their struggles. Everyday the public focuses on and talks about the struggles of the celebrity--the drugs, the arrests, the break-ups-- as if these people are not real, as if these people do not deserve the dignity of being able to exist and do what they love to do for a living without sacrificing their private lives for our scrutiny. No one should have to face strangers asking questions about the status of their marriage. It is difficult enough to go through the end of a relationship without the added stress and strain from the public eye. And yet we have been so conditioned by media to get into everyone's business that that has become the shows we want to see and the topic of our conversations with each other. We confuse the right to do or say something with the dignity and respect it takes to chose when and how to say or do something or NOT to say or do something. We like to say things like: "I'm not saying anything that is not true, so it's fair game," or "I have a right to express my opinion." For all the "rights" we are so proud to exercise, how proud are you of who we are becoming as a society? How proud are you of the person that you are today? Do even consider the kind of person that you are and consider what kind of person you would like to be? If we continue with this "anything goes" way of living, we will continue to yield the results that we have over the last 20 years.
Being gifted often means being lonely because not many will take the time to really get to know who you are, how you feel, and what you think. You often become an idea, a product, an opportunity, a means to an end, an object to be admired and sought after, but not someone to be connected with, supported, encouraged, helped, listened to, and loved in action and not just in word. The world mourns Whitney the music icon, I mourn Whitney, the woman. There are so many like her who are no longer with us with names that we do not know, that we have never heard of and they too are just people trying to find ways to deal with a life that can be a handful to wrestle with sometimes. No one needs to make excuses for anyone else, but we all could definately use a little more compassion and take more genuine interest in the lives of those who are in our own lives and less judgement and water cooler gossip on our jobs and in our homes.