Okay – here we go again. We have a performer – no doubt one with great talent and ability, who has managed to find an expedited path out of this world as a result of personal decisions around both a hedonistic and narcissitic existence. The reaction to her death seems to be out of bounds given her contribution to the world (as well as her own demise). Yes, this is a waste and it is a sad ending but it is a bit too much when one looks at those whose lives have actually had profound impact on the life of others. Yes, music has long been important to me for what it says and how it makes me feel and I recognize the talent and ability that few of us possess but let’s try to get a perspective.
When I hear how hard her life was, the stress and constant worry about remaining successful, all the stress with which she needed to deal, I have to somehow shake my head and wonder if it really was that much harder than what most hard working people experience. Different, yes – harder, not so sure. Many of us work hard, we typically lose sleep and stress over our success (or challenges to it), we work hard to cover our responsibilities on and off our job – and we do it without a cast of supporting characters, without others to manage the mundane day to day obligations, we pick up our own drycleaning. We do it without making astronomical salaries. We do it without resorting to drugs and alcohol as a means to cope. Most of us don’t have the the time nor the resources to even make that possible. But more importantly, most of us have made the choice to step up to the roles and jobs we have chosen and to cover those responsibilities pretty much sober and without crutches.
And when something goes wrong or doesn’t work as planned, we actually take personal responsibility for it – it’s not about excuses.
It is time we, as a society, remove the pedestals we have put in place for those who have attained celebrity status – whether that be in the world of music, movies, TV, sports, etc. Maybe if we focused less on those who live outside of the “real” world, we could actually look more internally and realize it isn’t really that bad after all.