If Whitney Were An Angel: Lessons – By Nana Akosua Opoku

The demise of Whitney Houston came as a shock to many. It is not that she died that was a shock, but that she died with so much potential! Despite the huge success she had chalked in her career, she still had a lot in her. And since her death, many have paid glowing tributes to her. Fortunately for her and for us, we have her voice still living on through her songs, but one thing I believe we all stand to gain from her death are the lessons from her life.

Particularly, I believe we ought to learn from two phases in her life. First, her never should have been marriage and second, the subsequent decline in her success. The speed at which the two happened was like measuring how fast the sea water breaks a sand castle.

Whitney Houston married Bobby Brown on July 18, 1998. Many believe that her decision to marry Brown was the beginning of her woes and decline. Inasmuch as Brown must take up some of the blame, I believe Whitney must have seen the signs during their three-year relationship before their marriage foreboding a tumultuous journey ahead; she ignored the tell-tale signs and went ahead to marry Brown.

There will always be signs foretelling what to expect in your relationship, but we often tend to ignore those signs all in the name of love and the self-denial that what we think we see is not actually how the person truly is. The signs are there right from the beginning showing if a partner will be abusive, a cheat, responsible or a dependent; we just fail to pay attention to those signs.

There were rumours of abuse in their relationship and that is something we can all learn from. Whitney must have seen signs of Browns capability of turning out to be abusive while they date yet she ignored those sign. She tried desperately to cover up all the shortcomings in her marriage and why wouldn’t she? Celebrities are idolised to a point where people will accept nothing less of them and admitting that she was in an abusive marriage would have been regarded as a stab in her own back.

Though she finally filed for divorce, assuming the rumours of abuse were true, why stay with a man who subjects you to physical, verbal and emotional torture? No amount of remorse or money must make you remain with someone who abuses you. If not for anything, just love yourself more than others can ever love you and you will be able to look after yourself and decide on such matters.

A typical lesson from that episode in her life is when we as human beings try desperately to conform to society’s expectations. Society expects ladies to be married at a certain age and most ladies will do everything possible to conform and settle by that age, whether they are emotionally, physically, psychologically or financially ready or not.

People are getting abused in their marriages and relationships yet are reluctant to speak out and seek help for the very reason that people will say, “You are complaining over this little thing. Do you have any idea what people are going through in their houses? You are blessed to have found a man so you just thank your stars for such a man and endure the abuse. Most women will give anything to have a man they can call their own.”

Hmmm, life is just too short to attempt to please everyone. There is no sense in staying with a man/woman who abuses because should you die from one of his/her countless attacks on you, the man/woman will surely move on and probably find another partner. No one is worthy enough for you to gamble with your life.

For Whitney, rumours were rife of drug use by the couple. Many were those who blamed Brown for introducing Whitney to substance abuse. In fact, she admitted to Oprah Winfrey during an interview that she had used drugs at some point. From the time of shooting ‘The Bodyguard’ onwards, her drug use escalated.

It may not be drugs or abuse, but anyone, man or woman, who makes you do things outside your principles or morals, is not the person for you. It is no secret that some roads lead to total destruction and whoever leads you down that road does not have your best interests at heart. No one is perfect, surely, but anyone who takes away from your life’s worth is not good enough for you.

The Guinness Book of Records cited Whitney as the most-awarded female act of all time. Whitney had great talent and that gave her success in immeasurable proportions. The thing about success is that while it gives you comfort and stability, it also throws temptations your way. You now get in the position where nothing seems impossible or out of reach, not when it concerns things that money can buy. If God blesses you with success, then the best you can do to sustain that success is to remain grounded at all times.

It is worth noting that success can come and go with the wind. At least, while you are at it, do well to leave behind a legacy so that you may be remembered by it for generations to come. Whitney died, but she left behind a great legacy through her voice in her song and made mistakes that we can all learn from and hope to achieve the best out of our lives.

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