Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Way Forward: Tyler Perry the Guardian Angel

What does it mean when someone says to you, "So, what are your plans now?" It can mean a host of things. Depending on how old you are, what skills you have, how much education you have. Or not.

When I watched Oprah's interview with Bobby Christina after Whitney Houston passed, and Oprah asked her something to that effect, my heart went out to her when she said something in the neighborhood of singing and dancing. 


Well, my first instinct was this. Poor child. Maybe you can dance, baby girl, but if you could sing, at 19, shouldn't we already know it? With no plan for college or further education, your skill had better be good, even as Whitney Houston's daughter. People will forget you very fast, and that fortune that seems endless today, will go poof if handled improperly. After all, Willow Smith isn't telling us she will sing, she is singing. But then again, her family might have been telling her all of her life that she can sing just like her mama!

So, when I started to see Bobby Christina on episodes of For Better or Worse by Tyler Perry on TBS on Friday nights, I wanted to jump for joy. And he said it himself to Katie Couric recently. He wanted to help her because Whitney was a friend and the circumstances around her death, her struggles and finally succumbing to that evil were so tragic, but boy, was he glad when he realized she actually didn't suck at acting! This goes to say that at least some element of skill or a gift is needed, to succeed at anything in life, no matter who you are. 

TP truly is her guardian angel. I'm sure he can help her excel at acting. And as Bobby and Whitney's daughter, maybe she can sing and dance, or one or the other. But it doesn't always work that way. She can act though.

Even Gary Houston when interviewed about his sister kept saying, "The gift came through her." That is, the gift of singing that Cissy Houston has was inherited by Whitney specifically. And even though the whole family sang, including Gary, he knew he needed another day job and that was not his primary calling in life, unlike his little sister who was born to sing. 

When I look at Jordan's drawings, I don't see much of Layi's artistic genes in there, or mine. Considering that Layi could have made art his primary job, and that I was so good as a child that teachers would have me do huge portrait drawings for posters to hang up on the walls in class as a permanent fixture, if Jordan has some art in her, I am yet to see much of it. But she is one smart cookie. :)

Consider the Braxton sisters, I watched Toni Braxton on TVOne recently, talking about how she could never get rid of that guilt about being the talented singer and always feeling the need to include her sisters. But it never worked, because it was her gift, not theirs, though very gracious and sweet of her. They could sing, and they backed her up fine, but they were not mega superstar singers. And though I've never seen their reality show, it seems they're on to something there. Ya can't force it, you can only tap into what's already there, and build on it. Joe Jackson pushed all his kids but we can see we only truly have 2 mega superstar singers in the mix: Michael and Janet. 

The next time someone asks you what your plans are for the future, or the next time your mind wanders in that direction, ask yourself first, what am I good at? Is there a way that I can improve that skill, either with education, certifications, training, or just practice? Who can help me get there? What can help me get there?It's not magic. There's the God-given skill or gift and then, to complement it, there's the hard work like what Beyonce, Whitney, etc have exhibited in their career. 

And if your skill or gift does not yet pay your bills, find something else that can pay your bills in the meantime, unless off course, you're Bobby Christina and your bills are paid. God bless her. 

Recognize your skill, or gift. Then build on it, nurture it, hone it, feed it, practice it, and pray for God's blessing on it. And don't forget to ask someone who is not your friend or family member if they really think you're good at it too. 



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