2/12/12 – The Greatest Love of All

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“The greatest love of all, Is easy to achieve , Learning to love yourself , It is the greatest love of all…” – 

“The Greatest Love of All,”  Whitney Houston

Yes, it is sad, devastating, heart-breaking and down-right disappointing to lose a gift like Whitney Houston so young. The energy and sadness expressed on TV, the internet, social media sites, text messages and casual conversations reminds me of almost 3 years ago when we lost Michael Jackson. It makes you wonder the pressure society and the media put on these stars. Would I be able to handle that pressure? Maybe, maybe not. But I think it has a lot to do with the age and maturity of people when they come into the lime light. I guess that’s why Oprah said, “If you come to fame not understanding who you are, it will define who you are.”

I think one of my favorite quotes that defines the good and evil of fame is by William Blake, “The strongest poison ever known came from Caesar’s laurel crown.” I think we forget that even though celebrities are talented beyond our understanding, that they have a gift that most of us will never possess, that they are just people too. We define them by their gift instead of by the people they truly are. Is that society’s fault?  Not 100%, but I think when these stars start so young it is the responsibility of the adults around them to help keep them grounded, reminding them to love themselves and to keep them on a positive track until they grow into self-understanding adults.

The reason this death upsets me the most is the role that drugs play in so many of the deaths of young celebrities. I know it hasn’t been said what killed Whitney, but we do know the role drugs played in her life previously. We accept drug use and fame as two peas in a pod. We see it normal and okay that pop stars, rappers, actors and artists use drugs and we even pride them on how it helps them to create inspiring “art.” This has to stop. It is not okay for anyone to suffer from such an addiction. Addicts are hiding so much deep down and suffering inside from pain we can’t begin to understand. Instead of accepting this and sometimes applauding it or cracking jokes about it, let’s make an active effort as a society to change the image that has become the norm in this world. I’ve personally been affected by drug use in my life and it is unreal the power that drugs have on a person and it’s too painful to watch. I was lucky enough not to lose the one I love to addiction but what about the family, friends, fans and admirers of such talents like: Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brittany Murphy, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Garland, River Phoenix, Anna Nicole Smith, and the list goes on and on.

The song “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston has a very powerful message. I have pasted half of the song below and linked the performance to her picture. Let’s remind our children about the important things in life and to love themselves. It’s so sad to me that she could sing a song about loving yourself when she struggled with that herself.

“I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all”

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