It Seems Easier to Be a Great Person After Death Than Before.

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I don’t usually write about anything other than education topics.

This is because I realize my limitations are great (in far too many areas to list here).

I’m pretty sure I barely have a concept about what is happening within education. I’m also positive I have no concept about anything else. 

But occasionnally something bugs me and I’m fascinated to know if it bothers anyone else.

Today it’s Whitney Houston’s death.

I remember when she was a big star.  Maybe the biggest.

I remember the albums (casettes), movies (VHS), and the National Anthem at the Super Bowl (sorry Buffalo).

She was rich and famous.  And evidently miserable.

Her life became complicated (but whose isn’t).

I’m not judging her, but I do have a question.

As I watch TV and cruise the interweb, it seems like the focus is on how great she was and what a terrific talent has been lost.

I’m sure this is true.

But I’m always amazed how no one ever dies with bad qualities.

We always remember the best in people, but what about everything else?  What about the kids?  And in the future, her grandkids?

What has her behavior done to them?

It was great she could sing, but she had a more important job.

You see this same type of situation happening far too often in schools.

An adult’s life (for a variety of reasons) has a traumatic effect on their children.  You can just see the kids being set up for a more complicated life than any of us can imagine. 

And while educators can help at school , we can’t always help them when they’re not in school.

I don’t think Whitney Houston was a bad person.  But I do think for all of her talent, her lasting impression on the world will be how her child raises her kids.

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5 Responses to “It Seems Easier to Be a Great Person After Death Than Before.”


  1. Ben K.
    on Feb 12th, 2012
    @ 7:52 pm

    I think one of the big problems in education is that teachers are expected to help at school AND help with all the non-school stuff. Relationships are key with students to have them be successful. However, all the other stuff can really hinder the teaching.

    How do we, as a society, make sure that every student is ready and willing to learn when they walk through the doors? Any thoughts on this?


  2. Alicia Manuel Kessler
    on Feb 14th, 2012
    @ 8:55 am

    Maybe people (men and women) need to realize they really can’t have it all.

    There’s only so much of you to go around- with or without being a/an (fill it in…. alcoholic, work, whatever) holic.


  3. Wozza
    on Feb 14th, 2012
    @ 10:20 pm

    Bravo! I agree with you again (it was a temporary blip). Good questions Mr Smith.

    I write as someone who owns no W Houston product at all. Zip zilch nada.

    I have given up feeling much sympathy for famous selfish drug addicted people who are never happy in their heart and kill themselves via an overdose or some such. Amy Winehouse and now Whitney Houston are merely the latest in that category. They create carnage and leave a giant mess.

    I have a quote behind me on my wall that I’ve just looked at again – ‘Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not’ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

    Seems appropriate.


  4. Alicia Manuel Kessler
    on Feb 16th, 2012
    @ 3:02 pm

    Hmmm I don’t want my comment to be construed as having no sympathy for people who struggle.

    I just wish folks, talented or just work-alcoholics (and no I don’t see that as a talent) who are only going to focus on a couple of things in their lives wouldn’t have children. In that way, I don’t think you can have it all.

    Really gifted people seem to struggle because they didn’t work for the gift. It’s just always been there. I got good grade because I worked my ever-loving tail off – not a gift.

    I can’t imagine just opening my mouth and having a sound come out that only Whitney or Amy could produce. To quote a League of Their Own – if it was easy, everyone would do it.


  5. Jennifer
    on Feb 28th, 2012
    @ 6:24 pm

    Good for you! There are so many of us who want to say that!
    Wozza: Love your quote!

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