"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Wonder that was Whitney-Her Legacy and Lessons


It's hard to believe she's gone.
Whitney Houston was larger than life.
This diva touched, inspired and influenced the lives of people from all races, religions, regions, and musical tastes.
Whether dancing to her disco tunes, romancing to the soundtrack of "The Body Guard" (with Kevin Kostner), or embracing the lyrics of "The Greatest Love All" and its celebration of the potential of children, few would argue that she was an amazing talent with an angelic voice.

She was BIG.
In fact, so big that I fear that these words will be insufficient in paying tribute to the wonder that was Whitney.

She had it all. Or so we thought.
She had the beauty of a cover-girl model.
She was rich and worldly-recognized.
She made and broke countless musical records.
She was clever and charismatic. And surprisingly funny.

And yet, she was often reported in the news and frequent tell-tale interviews to have had struggles with substance abuse and a "bad-boy" rapper with a rap sheet.

Despite the good press and bad, one thing's for certain: her legacy and the contributions she made to the arts and the world at large will live on for generations to come.

She will be missed. She will be remembered.

Here are a few lessons I was left with upon her demise.

1. She died at 48. No matter what our age, everyday is a gift. Live each one to the fullest.

2. As creative artists, it's important that we produce and put forth "a body of work" of which we can be proud. Like she did. Once it goes "public" it becomes as much a part of our legacy as family recipes and prized heirlooms.

3. Nobody's life is void of suffering, struggles and pain. Even the rich.

4. Music and literary works have a way of establishing immortality.

5. It's important to let people know how much you cherish them while they can hear the words.

Thoughts? Any Whitney fans out there?

16 comments:

  1. Yes, I agree. Reflecting on hearing about her death, points 1 and 5 hit me hardest. Treasure each day, and the people who you love. She will be missed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How true, Karen. Thanks for sharing in this tribute with me.

      Delete
  2. I think this was a a good way to look at this tragic situation. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Modern Day Disciple,

      Honored to hear this. Thanks.

      Delete
  3. What a lovely tribute for such a horrendous event. I never got to see Whitney perform live, but I was definitely a fan! She was beautiful and talented and vivacious. I hope she is at peace, finally. As for the rest that are left here among the living, we should all do just that, live. We are only here but for a short while...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 14, 2012 at 5:27 AM

      Yvonne,

      I couldn't have said it better. Thanks for saying it here. Be well, my friend.

      Delete
  4. Jennifer, you are insightful and wise. If Ms. Houston had had more people like you around her, she would perhaps be with us still.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 14, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Susan,

    I greatly appreciate your thoughtful comment and your time. Thanks much.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, I am definitely a Whitney fan, it's true what they say: 'Today is a Gift, that's why they call it the Present'.
    I also read some things about it in a (dutch) newspaper today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer Brown BanksFebruary 15, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      HP van Duuren,

      Glad you are a fan. Love that quote; puts things in proper perspective. Always enjoy hearing from you.
      Thanks much.

      Delete
  7. My former partner, who completed suicide on May 10, 2009, was a huge fan of Whitney Houston. If she made me sit through The Bodyguard once, she made me do it a dozen times. Now matter how...complicated...Whitney's life became, my partner was always convinced Whitney had the strength and talent to pull herself out of the tailspin. It breaks my heart that now they are both gone, and it makes me more determined than ever to follow my heart, live my dreams, and take good care of my mind and body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debra,

      First off, I'm very sorry for your loss. Your partner obviously had good taste: I love The Bodyguard and just came across my casette tape while doing a little pre-spring cleaning. I couldn't agree more--time is precious, follow your dreams today. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your time. Wishing you the best!

      Delete
  8. Whitney was a true artist. And she had the joys, pains, and struggles of one. She is unarguably my wife's favorite singer of all time. And she leaves behind a sad family, friends, and fans. I hope her family will treasure her art, her legacy, and learn from her mistakes. I am truly saddened by her loss. By our loss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan,

      Whitney wowed many! There are no words to describe what her passing means. Thanks for adding to the tribute.

      Delete
  9. I loved Whitney Houston's music. She had her struggles and her demons (a lot of people do), but from more recent interviews, she seemed on track for a come-back. I so looked forward to that. It's a terrible loss for her family, friends, the music industry and her fans. She will be missed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janette,

      How true. Her demise reminded me a lot of Michael Jackson's. May they both R.I.P.

      Thanks for chiming in. :-)

      Delete