When Whitney Houston died in 2012, the nation was shocked – despite her decade-long drug addiction – and saddened. The depth of the tragedy, felt not only by me, can be summed up by one word: cheated. We had been cheated of her enormous talent and gifts.
We all have God-given talents, and roles to perform here on Earth. Some are great healers; others moving writers. Whitney Houston had the most beautiful gift of song – a rare instrument that could move people to tears and joy with just her voice.
Since we are all connected, we mourn the waste of her gift, of the self-destruction of that voice, that she so clearly was put on this planet to lift us all up. From her versions of “One Moment In Time” – the 1988 Olympic anthem which made us all reach to be more than we thought we could be, to “The Greatest Love of All,” which she no longer could connect to, thanks to numerous addictions. Whether you are here to help feed the hungry, or to combat global warming, fulfilling your life’s purpose and destiny matters. Using your gifts to serve others matters, and we are all cheated when someone’s promise goes unfulfilled.
That’s why it is so important to offer a social safety net and to not write off any person or societal group. If we truly value everyone and expect them to contribute their God-given talents, what kind of world would we live in? How many societal “ills” would disappear? How many new inventions, products and services would we have? I wonder. That is a world I look forward to seeing. One that focuses on an individual’s gifts and their fulfillment potential, not on their demons.
There are great nonprofits working hard to make sure that no one is left behind or written off as expendable. We need each other, so remember them generously.