"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it".
This simple quote by Philosopher George Santayana, represents the most fundamental truth regarding the progress we -as individuals, as a Country, and as a Planet- make. Essentially: learn from the mistakes and successes of the past, and act and/or adjust accordingly.
After all, another somewhat smart individual once defined insanity as, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
So if we hold the aforementioned as inarguable fact, then how, then why, must we collectively hit the “mute button” when it comes to discussing the mistakes of the deceased?
Why is it only acceptable to learn from an autopsy of the body-and not also an autopsy of the character…of the life lived?
Why must we remember Whitney Houston for only her voice, and not also her vice?
Whitney Houston was an unparalleled talent-the likes of which makes the phrase “forgive the hyperbole” unnecessary. Her voice was beyond moving, her appearance beyond striking, and yet for all of her extra-ordinary features, she had a certain charm which made her seem relatable, from a distance-approachable.
However, if that was all we remembered, if we were to simply celebrate the “good”, as many have suggested we do , if we were to simply “white out” and forget the “bad”…what exactly would that accomplish? What would we learn?
How many people will have learned to sing.. just like Whitney Houston?
How many people will have learned to become famous…to be beautiful…to be a celebrity…just like Whitney Houston?
To cherry pick the desirable details of Whitney Houston’s life, is to rob it of possibly it’s most enduring and applicable lesson, it is to say: “Don’t learn from the past….just revise it”.
Whitney Houston was a drug addict.
Whitney Houston was an alcoholic.
Whitney Houston was unable to avoid self-destructive behavior and unhealthy relationships.
No talent, no song, erases those unpleasant truths.
Addiction does not discriminate, it doesn't care where you live, or what color your skin is, or what your College Degree is in.....
Or what kind of voice you have.
It ignores those "minor" details, it supersedes the 'desirables"...
Ultimately, Whitney Houston was both a remarkably talented and a fatally flawed human being, whose life sadly but instructively speaks more to the power of drugs and alcohol, then to the power of voice and music.
To put a muzzle on such an important lesson, is not to let Whitney Houston Rest in Peace, but rather to let her die in vain.
Be Good Friends,