Welcome as I along with the rest of the world mourn the loss of WHITNEY HOUSTON. For me, news of Houston’s death hit in a very real way, she was only 13 months older than I am. I know by now, you’ve probably heard the news of her death and in your own way you’ve begun the process of celebrating her life and what she meant to you. Her incredible voice, her music, her unique contribution to the world—unmatched by none, because she, like you and like me, is a one-of-a-kind original.

Houston’s death causes me, without hesitation, to look not only at her life but mine as well. Isn’t it amazing how loss can lead to introspection, reflection and the chance for SELAH—pausing and thinking about how we’d like to be remembered. Our lives—every, single one of us—are loaded with meaning, purpose, and we each have gifts and talents that we are to share with the world.

In reflecting as I tried to ingest and make sense of the FLOOD of thoughts, tweets, posts, articles, tributes and pictorials magnifying WHITNEY HOUSTON’S life, I was struck with one important question, that I asked myself. “Was I more impressed with WHAT Whitney Houston DID rather than WHO Whitney Houston actually WAS?”

For you see it is the WHO question, for me, that is much more significant and important than the what.  For me, and I hope for you as well, we must become intentional about WHO we are. I am encouraging you—as I continually encourage myself—to COMPLETE this very important statement:

BEFORE I DIE, I WANT TO BE ________________________________________.

Think about who you want to be as a married or single person. Think about who you want to be spiritually and with your family and children. Think about who you want to be on your job, in your church and community. How will you be remembered when all is said and done?  Will people speak of your character and how kind you were or how giving or loving or inspiring you were? Shakespeare said it best, “TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE (ONLY) QUESTION.”

WHO Whitney Houston was as a mother, a wife, a woman, a contributor to others, is just as important as WHAT Whitney Houston did.  Life is so very precious and fleeting. We only have seconds and minutes every day to make a difference. WHITNEY HOUSTON has left a legacy of music and a unique contribution to our world, unrivaled. It is my hope and prayer that we will each be inspired to leave our marks and our legacy on this world THROUGH WHO WE ARE BEING rather than WHAT WE are doing…

My deepest condolences to everyone who is touched by the death of WHITNEY HOUSTON—her mother, her daughter, family, friends and fans. Let’s be inspired by Whitney Houston’s life and take this opportunity to look at our own lives and the contribution(s) that we are making to make this world a better place.