Whitney Houston passed away Saturday. Immediately social networks exploded with a various amount of responses from those who loved and admired her, or had taken great joy in her music. She'd lived a troubled life of addiction and substance abuse and it was apparent that she fought many demons regardless of what they were or where they originated. And it's also impossible to deny that she was very talented and no doubt changed many lives with her music and touched many hearts. It's safe to say that from this perspective, though some would argue her a negative influence, she was a positive one who, unless you were the person arguing in support of her, you'd never fully understand her influence on somone simply because you are not that person. You can only be you.
All this being said, I was amazed at the amount of sarcastic, cynical, bitter, and even severe comments about how it's sickening and silly to mourn the loss of a woman who was an addict whose problems were self inflicted and shallow in comparison to the thousands of children who starved to death on the same day and got no attention for it. Or the amount of people who died from cigarette smoking, or diseases, sickness, and poverty. The numbers are staggering every day, yet Whitney Houston got all the attention.
I'm not usually one for biting criticism myself, but today is a different day. Today I run the risk of falling onto my own sword, but it's a wound I'm happy to take in order to speak my mind. Today I want to tell those of you who think it appropriate to mock others for trying to show appreciation for a person they liked and/or admired that has passed away, honestly, get over yourself.
No one is actively trying to devalue the many lives lost each day by honoring Whitney Houston, so don't put that blame on them. That is a heavy burden, a cross impossible to carry, yet you think you can cast it upon their shoulders because you want to make a cocky statement. Grow up.
I've dealt with loss and grief in my life. I think we all have and we all will, and the majority of people who speak about losing Whitney Houston never knew her. But who cares. Who are we to devalue the respect and honor people wish to pay to others? We all grieve in our own ways. Though she did face those demons, you never know just how many lives a person can change for the better. But clearly it's better to jump to conclusions to make a statement that shows just how pious and mighty, how worldly and caring you are.
But when your idol passes, whether they be musician, scientist, author, film maker, star, or athelete, we wait with anticipation to watch you fall on your hypocrisy. Because we know you are only human, despite how above it you may hope to be.
Do not attempt to cheapen a person's honoring something or someone that they love and respect. From us that garners nothing but contempt, anger, and confusion.
If the influx of people mourning someone on a social network seems a bandwagon, I don't care. You bite the bullet and you take it. Why? Because you have no idea what that peson may mean to them, and you have no idea who you may upset or anger and what ties you may put in jeopardy of being severed. You know the saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
Don't let your subconscious desire for respect and flattery get in the way or your being an honest, kind, and caring person. And honest, kind, and caring people know when to keep their mouths shut and be a shoulder to cry on, not a trap for their friends, family, and peers to unwittingly walk into.
You let us be us and we'll let you be you. No one has the excuse to be anything but the best person they can be. And being the best means being the most Loving. And being the most Loving means, well, I'd hope by now you have some sort of concept of what that's about.
Perhaps this is akin to Chris Crocker's "leave Brittney alone!" only with more text and less crying. But I may be crying, you never know. That's the joy of a blog, I get to appear calm and tearless. But again, because you're not here, because you're not inside my head, you can never really know, can you?
Remember that. You can never really know what someone means to someone else because you are not that person. For this reason, leave it alone and be nice. Be an adult. Otherwise you run the risk of putting your foot in your mouth and upsetting people who don't deserve it.