I had the pleasure of attending the traveling play “End of the Rainbow“. It’s the story of the last days of Judy Garland‘s life (star of The Wizard of Oz). She was on and off drugs. Her voice was failing. People took advantage of her. Her shows were often wrecks but she was still a delightful person.
I left sad that this incredible talent lived trapped in a culture of people who didn’t know how to manage her nor did she know how to manage herself. She died at the age of 47.
Whitney Houston Mirrors Judy Garland
Two days later I learned of Whitney Houston‘s death. It was like déjà vu. Having just learned of Garland’s end Houston’s death made sense. There were so many similarities.
There is a lot of finger-pointing now. Who is to blame? Is it Whitney Houston? Is it her friends? Her doctors? Even God?
The finger-pointing itself is a sign of our broken culture. We don’t get it. We are so desperate for a hero… a savior… that when a talent comes along we enshrine them and give them whatever they want as long as they keep us happy. We push them away from us to preserve them for our own benefit leaving them bereft of a healthy context to live.
We want more and more from them and so they comply to get the affirmations they so desperately crave. If it takes a pill here or there, so be it. It’s all for the “greater good”. It turns into a very sick symbiotic relationship; each party dependent on the other to survive.
But when our heroes crash and burn what do we do? We either denounce them or we worship them one last time.. .sadly, with a funeral. Ultimately the end result is the same… we move on and look for the next savior to enthrone.
Who is to Blame for the Death of Whitney Houston?
Who is to blame? To the extent that we embrace this craziness, we all are. When we remove God from the equation we naturally go looking for a savior, in a person or a bottle or on a stage. Put God back into the equation and we regain perspective and balance.
We should be thankful for a talent like Whitney Houston. She was a gift to us all. We should nurture people with these gifts not milk them dry and then discard them.
The culture is broken. But we can breathe life and dignity back into it by reversing the disease in small ways. I’m all for that.
Question: In what ways have you seen the impact of our broken culture? Leave your comment below.