“Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had,”- a mantra persuasively spoken to people who may be consistently taking aspects of their life for granted.
We see this concept alive in our society every single day. Whenever a politician leaves office, or a celebrity dies, they are suddenly loved and appreciated like no other. Despite the person’s controversial past, they are forgiven after their time. A prime example of this would be former US president Barack Obama. When Obama left office, people who had once criticized his decisions wrote “I miss Obama” spiels on social media, painting him as a picture-perfect president, although his choices, including those made regarding Syria, spoke otherwise.
Similarly, when actor Robin Williams committed suicide in 2014, films he contributed to were streaming on major television networks for days. But what no one seemed to notice, was that he had always been there, and when he was struggling, not many could honestly say they reached out in support. After his passing, may of the teen generation’s movie watchers researched what movies they could watch in memory of the late Williams. Many were shocked to find that he had voiced the genie who had given us all hopes for love as three-year-olds.
The late John McCain also represents this ignorance that our society prides itself on. While many people did genuinely appreciate his political views and actions, others during his lifetime looked down on him. In his recent passing, these critics sent messages of love and prayers to McCain’s family, completely contradicting their own past beliefs.
The hypocritical nature of the human race provides an excuse for the unappreciative people in today’s society. This ignorance is common in people who decide against educating themselves and accepting other beliefs as valid. This is not to say that everyone must sway their own opinion to that of others, but to open their mind to the fact that there is a difference of opinion in existence, that must be respected.
An issue in connection with the delayed appreciation of some is the skewed continued appreciation of undeserving others. Once a celebrity or politician has passed away, many of their crimes are forgiven, or left unspoken.
Rapper XXXTentacion’s death this past June sparked an uproar across America as the teen generation mourned the loss of one of their own- a friend through his music. But his music was not his identity. “X” was an alleged abuser to women and this was completely passed over as the media uncovered his murder. It is still not discussed, out of “respect for the dead”. This leaves people wondering at what point society can move on from its own mourning period, to discuss the atrocious aspects of X’s, and many more people’s lives.
When Chris Brown dies someday, I can honestly say that our society will remember him as the artist whose music “slaps”, and not the person who beat Rihanna so badly that she needed medical attention. However, no music is good enough to ignore the purposeful harming of another human being.
Whether good or bad, every person leaves behind a legacy when they die. The legacy is determined by their own actions in their own lifetime, and not as a judgement after their passing by our society.