empathy

Wham!

Feeling others’ loss

Empathy, George Michaeel, and 2016 are just a train wreck. As if the celebrities that passed this year weren’t enough, the loss of a 53-year old pop star pushed a lot of people over the emotional edge yesterday.

Empathy and George Michael

George Michael is one of those celebrities that I don’t feel a strong emotion connection with. When Wham! hit the scene, I was still holding on to my AOR roots, with Yes, ELP, and their offshoots. Pop? Pfft, I needed to work on adjusting and understanding Prince’s appeal to the teen girls I taught at Redeemer High. I enjoyed the upbeat videos the band dropped on MTV, but I just didn’t have a deep attachment. When Michael went solo, same thing. He wasn’t someone I paused to consider, still, he wasn’t a musician/artist I loathed.

Feeling others’ loss

That’s where empathy comes in. It’s not like I don’t know who George Michael was, and his story. In fact, when Sir Elton did “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” with Michael, that boosted his street cred with me in a huge way. Didn’t make me add Wham! or his solo stuff to mix tapes for the car, though. While it wasn’t there for me, I respected my friends who liked him. I listened to them tell me why his music moved them. It’s you do when you take your friends seriously.

His death is the same sort of situation. My feelings are similar to my 22yo kiddo’s, when he said “Aw, that’s unfortunate,” last night. Unfortunate is right. Loss to my personal musical sphere? Nah.

There’s debate as to whether or not 2016 is any worse than other years, in terms of celebrity passings. What happens as we get older, though, is that those who pass are no longer people in black-and-white photos we vaguely remember our parents talking about. They’re guys in vivid colors and big 80s hair. That generates a great deal of sensory overload for empaths.

Like and Follow YatPundit!

Share this post with your friends!