Sometimes I struggle to pinpoint the exact spot to lay the blame, the cause for some of the realities that befall some of us. I struggle to identify the reason for the tragedies that are the “Lamar Odoms” of this world. I mean, is it as simple as stating, “He’s an idiot and he deserves what has happened to him for being such a damned fool!”? Or are we called upon to look past the very obvious – drugs, alcohol, seeming-promiscuity – to the underlying reasons. Scrutinize the cause not the effect.
So often we can (rightfully) look at what is presented to us about a life like his (Odom’s) – the celebrity, the money, the talent, the access – and wonder, “What the fuck more could they want or wish for?!” I admit to doing just that. I admit to shaking my head at times at the path of destruction those who seem to have “everything” embark on and pass judgment. I even sometimes go so far as to think, “Let me be blessed with one quarter of what they (seem to) have and watch how much better I treat my good fortune. Just watch!” But, with the accumulation of more and more revelations of the downward spiral of those in our society whom we have credited with so much good fortune, it forces the rethinking of just whom between the two is truly the one blessed.
The story that is “Lamar Odom” is one that has made me sad; surprisingly. Usually (if it even enters my space), I shake my head at their foolish shenanigans and continue on without even a stumble. However every once in a while a reality makes me pause; this one did. And, the reason for that is simple – the story may be headline news because of its celebrity-sensationalism, but the ailment is commonplace. Depression, hopelessness, self-destruction, self-hatred and loathing are realities that affect the lower-class, the middle-class, the upper-class… those we perceive with no-class.
I remember when the Solange-Jay-Beyonce elevator fiasco broke and like most, speculating on the reality that the reason was/is because he was cheating on her… “Why, if your woman is Beyonce would you want anyone else?!” I still wonder at that. But there are also those moments in my past when I have wondered the same about myself; truly. When injustices, disrespect or uncalled-for behavior occurs, I wonder, “Why would you treat me this way?” My point is simply this – heartache, regardless of its form, is no respecter of persons. It may even seem as if “bad things happen to good people” more than the already astronomical rate with which good things happen to bad people.
I checked myself with regard to my reaction to this latest celebrity-reality. I forced myself to look past the names involved – especially the Kardashian name – and apply empathy for the implosion of another human being. I found myself rooting for him and imploring the Universe to be merciful – in whatever way that “mercy” manifests itself. I realized all I wanted for him was for the pain and self-loathing to cease; for him to have a chance at a life… the kind that is filled with what we all (should) wish for – peace – in all its manifestations.
This life and our choices sometimes seemingly conspire to destroy us; but, I promise this is not the case… despite what it looks like. We have been placed here to achieve all that we can dream of and nothing, absofuckinglutely nothing is outside our reach. Certainly not happiness. That is our birthright. But, we none of us will escape the consequences of our decisions and actions, so, we need to always be cognizant of that and act wisely. Make mistakes, yes; that is proof we are trying and living. But, in all things use wisdom… even the flawed kind; it is only flawed the first time.
I am dedicated to living in hope, to living with hope; not because life has always been kind or fair, but in spite of the fact that it has kicked my ass but good time and again (and, I have the scars to prove it!). I choose to wake every day I am granted, put one foot in front of the other and keep on going. And, those days that seem to want to stunt my progress (and, there are many), I do my best to fake it into being. I act as if. Depression and hopelessness are real; and, they maim and kill. Shit, it can even look manic, “the life of the party.” It often takes on the appearance of the “Lamar Odoms” of this world – having it all, playing the part and doing its best to convert a perception into a reality… without success.
I hope he gets another chance to actualize what is truly his in this life. And if not, I hope his story wakes us all up to the realities that lie behind and underneath the outward trappings, the smiles. I’m learning not to dismiss the man because of the behavior. Sending him some strength…