When her family recently came forward with a claim that Whitney Houston was murdered, one had to ask if an opportunity was missed to better our children.
After she first passed away, there were two main questions being debated on facebook, Twitter and news outlets:
- What was her most popular song?
- Who was responsible for her death?
The first question, in the grand scheme of things, is irrelevant. It pales in comparison to being able to point out where her life was ruined. More importantly, it pales when compared to the fact that those responsible for her demise, can actually help parents. If our kids are famous or not, we can help them avoid similar pitfalls, by knowing who/what they are.
First, an honorable mention goes out to all of the critics and fans who claimed Houston wasn’t “black enough” (whatever that means). Most people feel that is the reason she felt she needed to change her image, and take on a bad girl persona.
Which leads us to Bobby Brown. This high-profile train wreck brought about the beginning of the end to the diva’s career. Their public spats, bouts with drugs and pathetic reality show were all indicators of his horrible decision-making. A better choice of a mate might have meant a different path for her.
Her “friends”played a big role in her demise. It was only after she died that they started jumping in front of cameras pointing fingers. It was not before, but after, that you heard that she was a drunken mess in public just days before she died.
True friends will tell you when you’re in the wrong, even at the risk of alienation. The problem here is everyone wanted a piece, and were unwilling to risk losing their meal-ticket.
Her family offered little help. They’re still grieving and should be allowed to do so, the fact that they are claiming murder is evidence enough that they should have done more.
Last but not least, is Whitney Houston herself. Nobody made her abuse alcohol or drugs, prescription or otherwise. Nobody made her change who she was, she did it on her own. The bottles, the pills, Whitney Houston’s the one who put them in to her body.
In the end, it’s up to us to tell our children that they shouldn’t change who they are for anyone. They need to surround themselves with people who love them enough to give them the cold hard facts. They should marry someone who will lift them up, not tear them down, and be willing to leave if they don’t.
One thing about Houston’s death is that I was able to have an open, candid conversation with my child about drugs and alcohol. I was able to use this as an example of how things can go wrong, even if you’re a person who has the world in your hands.
If we don’t relay these lessons to our kids, they may become the cautionary tales.
And for the record, Whitney Houston’s best song: You give good love.
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