Monday, February 2, 2015

The Inescapable Cost of Fame




I was in the kitchen Saturday morning when my wife comes in and says that Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious in a bathtub. “What do you mean?”; I asked redundantly, knowing good and well I understood every word she stated. I couldn’t help but flash back to 3 years ago when I heard the news about Whitney. It hurt; like really hurt. Honestly, I don’t have the appropriate words to explain exactly why it hurt, but it just did. On second thought, my only sister, Carla, looks a lot like Whitney and I think it hit a nerve. Yeah, that definitely did help.

Now, we’re talking about her daughter? She’s a 21 year old kid that lives in, what at times seems an alternate reality. It’s a world where privacy is an elusive commodity and every mistake and flaw is magnified. I mean, the only reason why I’m having this discussion now is because she is Bobbi Kristina, the daughter of the late legend Whitney Houston who died entirely too soon for me. Bobbi Kristina, a woman who bares her first name from a father she’s had a complicated relationship with.  Everyone in the family has been criticized at one point or another. The crazy part is that celebrities, or stars- notable people in the spot light are expected to handle constant ridicule as a part of the gig.


This whole ordeal brought to my attention the complexity of how we relationally interact. There are people on both sides of the fence laying out support and criticism of Bobbi Kristina. Through the process of “othering”- classifying individuals or groups as different than yourself, we can sometimes lose the empathy needed to see clearly. As a parent, this situation must be horrifying. Bobby Brown is going through it and Cissy Houston arguably has it worst. Say what you will about the man, but no decent father would be OK right now. Especially in lieu of how similar the conditions they found Kristina and Whitney. Cissy is watching Whitney all over again and the prognosis for BK is not looking good. 

Bobbi Kristina’s family drama was publicized and the shame and pain that resulted is known to a relative few; that’s a heavy weight. Consequently, without the appropriate, healthy coping mechanisms; any of us are prone to be overtaken by the pervasive wasteland of our darkest moments. What would true compassion look like?- Free from judgment, seeing people through the eyes of our own shame and shortcoming on a consistent basis. Using our breath and words to literally speak life into the people and situations around us. Truthfully, it would look stunningly similar to Christ. I'm just saying...

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