what we love…

Last Saturday, one of the world’s most talented vocalists died in a hotel in Beverly Hills. Whitney Houston’s records have sold over 170 million copies. And even though her music was never my style, she was one of those artists that you still had to listen to because you recognized a rare talent was at work in that voice. She died at 48, but her voice had been lost for about ten years.
What happened?
In 1992, at what was arguably the height of her career (92 was the year the movie The Bodyguard came out starring Houston. I Will Always Love You, from soundtrack, stayed at #1 for 14 straight weeks), Whitney Houston married hip-hop singer Bobby Brown.
By the late 90s, Houston began to live erratically. Rumors of a drug problem surfaced. In 2000, she was fired from the Academy Awards show because her voice was shaky and her behavior unacceptable. The shadow of drugs would follow her the rest of her days.
And her voice was a pale imitation of what it once was. Critics used to complain that producers held her voice back and that they should reveal what she could do. But, in the end, critics said that she could no longer sing.

And here is the thing. What we chose to love can save us or destroy us. Whitney chose to get involved with Brown and eventually followed a path she could never escape.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, I think it is important to remember that whoever, or whatever, we love has the opportunity to add to our life or subtract from it. We ought to think long and hard before we give our hearts to anyone or anything.
I like what the German writer, Goethe, once said, “One should only celebrate a happy ending; celebrations at the outset exhaust the joy and energy needed to urge us forward and sustain us in the long struggle. And of all celebrations a wedding is the worst; no day should be kept more quietly and humbly.”


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