Houston, We Have a Problem … February 12, 2012

I was traveling in Houston, Texas, when I heard the report that Whitney Houston had passed on.
I didn’t think of that last night when the news flashed across the screen. It’s something that occurred to me this morning as I sat down to write to each and every one of you. Actually, it’s a rather irrelevent fact.
But here’s a piece of information that isn’t irrelevant: human beings were not made to be famous. We were created to be happy-and fame and happiness are inconsolable.
It is time for someone to finally speak this as the truth it is, without others trying to clarify it with exceptions or proclaim the importance of manifesting our own personal destiny. Because as I listened to them tribute this dear woman last night on television, they played in the background her recording of The Greatest Love of All. It is an anthem exalting the value of self-love, containing a rather hapless phrase: “I decided not to walk in anyone’s shadow.”  This is the kind of thing human beings revel in as we read poems like Invictus–touting that we are the masters of our own fate. Here you go–we aren’t. And the absence of that ability is not a weakness, but rather, the backbone of our true strength.
We require. It’s just true. The formula for ultimate success is not in teaching oneself to gain, but rather, in prospecting and mining the gold that we receive in losing. If little Whitney from Newark had continued to sing praises to God in her church, blessing as many folks as she could without seeking adoration, adulation, wealth–minus the erroneous belief that she was supreme in some way or another, more than likely she would never have ended up with the finance to attain enough of the “booty” in life to swallow her up. I don’t know where we get the idea that just because someone can sing, they are a goddess or a diva. I don’t know what mindset constructs the short list of occupations which we deem worthy of reverence, crowning those who excel in those positions the inhuman status of earthly godliness, and then when the natural pressures of undeserved divinity destroy their humanity, we muse over the remains, wondering how in the hell it happened.
Life was not meant to be easy–so any attempt to simplify the process through purchasing power is not only futile, but more often than not, fatal. Life is intricate–and continues to pursue that mission despite all of our attempts to growl, grumble or complain. Why, you may ask? It is that way so we can discover that happiness has nothing to do with how much we have, what has fallen us nor even whom we are with at the moment. Happiness was spoken into being as attainable for all of us in every station of life.
It is when we become dissatisfied with our financial portion in life that greed robs us of true love. It is when we look at our 24-hour plate of activities and pretend to be overwhelmed that we pursue the shortcuts that take us down the dark alleys. It is when we become malcontents with those God has sent our way, wishing for greater sophistication or a more astute entourage that we lose our equilibrium. Happiness is always found in the next thing that comes our way, relishing who we are, what we have and cleverly in the Spirit, finding a way to do it a little bit better–or at least a trifle differently.
Honestly, everything else is born of evil.
Am I saying that it’s ridiculous to pursue a wider market or try to improve one’s own status? The road to that particular goal is littered with the bodies of those who failed.
I wake up this morning in Houston, thinking about Whitney Houston. I am not going to be on national television this week. I shall not appear on the Grammys this evening. I will not be performing this morning in front of 20,000 breathless, wide-eyed sycophants who know the lyrics to every one of my songs.
Thank you, God. I couldn’t handle it.
Neither could Whitney. We should forgive her for being human–and we should keep in mind that it just doesn’t profit us much to gain this old world if in the process, we lose sight of our own souls.

Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:


To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!


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