The recent news of the death of Whitney Houston has gotten me thinking. In the days after her passing, social media sites were flooded with posts about the late pop icon. People were overwhelmed with grief and were outspoken about their feelings for her. They hailed her as the greatest pop star of all time, a gift from above, a connection to religion, a tragic loss, the list goes on.
The question this raises for me: If you loved her so much, and you thought she was so special, perhaps, if you had taken the time to post all of these wonderful things about her a few days, weeks, months or years earlier, the woman could still be alive.
This is OBVIOUSLY a woman who was troubled and needed support, help, rehab, and love. Her drug abuse, depression, and personal issues have been all over the tabloids for years. Instead of standing up in her defense, these same people who cried out when she died thirsted for more of the fodder and filth that the tabloids would report about Whitney's addiction, home, and marital issues. From www.people.com:
"The greatest pop star in the world didn't think she was good enough," the actor, 57, said of Houston, who died last week at 48. "There were a thousand things that seemed to her to be wrong . . . she asked herself, "Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me?"Maybe, just maybe, if her fans took the time to express their feelings for her, she would have seen that life was worth living. Maybe not. But I feel that appreciation is something that should be on the forefront of all of our minds.
Every year, over 22,000 Americans die of a drug overdose. Many of these deaths could have been prevented just by people knowing that someone cared about them.
Every day we have opportunities to improve the lives of others in a way that requires little effort or time. If we take the time to let those around us know that we care about them, that we are rooting for them, that we notice their efforts and their presence, it can make someone feel better about themselves. We have opportunities to make people happy and to boost feelings of self-worth by simply taking a breath, looking around, noticing the good works and efforts of others, and, for lack of a better way to put it, showing those around us that we give a damn.
Take the time to compliment someone today - to notice the little things - to thank your wife for making dinner, to tell your husband that they look good in that new sweater, to let someone on your team at work know that you recognize their hard work and can see them getting better, the person sitting alone at a table that they you like their shirt, your child for trying something new (EVEN IF THEY FAILED). You never know, it might just save their life.