Carrie Fisher and George Michael, thank you for the life lessons

Joy Lee

We recently lost two more great artists, but their impact wasn't just limited to what they produced, but also what they inspired in others

Joy Lee |

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More than just a pop icon.

What can we learn from George Michael?

1. Never be ashamed of who you are. Be proud of your differences, and stand by your opinions. He was never ashamed of the fact he was gay.

2. What other people think of you does not matter, what matters is how you value yourself. There were many people who disapproved of his sexuality, but he still stayed true to himself and did not change himself for others.

3. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes - Michael went to jail, was publicly humiliated, and looked upon with distaste and aversion. But as long as you pick yourself back up, you will emerge a better person.

4. There will always be haters.

5. Use your voice and speak your mind. There will always be someone who listens, and there will always be someone who sees your point of view. Michael was not afraid to speak his mind about sexuality (as evident in his song Outside) or his political opinions (he poked fun at the relationship between the British and American government in his song Shoot the Dog) no matter whether it was well-received or not.

6. Fame and success often has a very trying, bumpy road, and it won’t necessarily make you happy.

7. Help those who need it, and be big-hearted with what you have. There are tweets emerging now about how generous Michael was - like how he tipped four-digit values to struggling waiters.


8. Don’t use people for your own personal gain - it’s just not right. Michael stopped being involved with women after he realised he was gay, not bisexual, because he felt it was wrong to use them for physical pleasure when he knew he would not feel any emotional affection for them.

9. Give without expecting anything in return. Good deeds don’t need to be publicised for it to be good. Many of Michael's charitable donations were done anonymously, and it wasn't until after he died that people are now talking about it and his generosity.

10. Listen to others without prejudice (Listen Without Prejudice is the name of two of his albums!)


What can we learn from Carrie Fisher?

1. Your mental illness does not define you unless you let it, and even then, you are not your mental illness. Be brave and don't be ashamed of it.

2. Have grit: push forward even if you're scared; you've got this. Look your obstacles in the eye and kick their butt (Princess Leia style!)

3. Laugh and have fun! In her autobioraphical book, Wishful Drinking, Fisher writes: “If my life wasn't funny it would just be true and that is unacceptable."

4. Be yourself, unashamedly and unapologetically.

5. Be a hardcore feminist. Princess Leia will forever be known as a princess who didn't need to be saved, and Fisher reflects this same personality in real life.

6. You will make it through hard times. Remember to stay positive, no matter what.

(The entire thread of the above tweet is pretty bomb.)

7. Don't be afraid of admitting your mistakes. Fisher shamelessly admitted that she was a drug addict and had bipolar disorder, and never let that stop her from being a successful actress and feminist, among other things.

8. Have thick skin and live life with no regrets.

9. You can be anything! Fisher wasn't JUST Princess Leia, she was also a very popular script doctor, novelist, and spokesperson.

10. Don't waste your time on the haters. As Fisher puts it: “resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”.