how tragic is tragedy?

I recently watched a documentary about music legend Quincy Jones who was asked in an interview to what he attributed his success.

Without hesitation he said ‘growing up without a mother’.

Quincy’s mum was institutionalised for schizophrenia when he was 7 years old and he had virtually no contact with her. That, plus racial hardships as a young black musician forced him to find confidence from within, rather than seeking affirmation externally.

Without these challenges he wouldn’t have turned to music for a sense of control when other parts of his life were in chaos, and found the determination he had to overcome adversity in his early career and later go on to work with people like Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson (plus MANY others), write and produce scores for TV and film that touched the lives of millions of people, and win loads of Grammy awards.


The documentary suggested that Quincy had difficulties in his romantic life as a result of his challenging relationship with his mother. This may have some truth to it, although he did manage to have 3 major relationships, each better than the last, and in which he fathered children whom he cherishes. The relationships may not have lasted FOREVER, but do relationships need to last forever for them to enrich our lives and bring us joy, connection and growth?


Quincy's story is just one of many examples of supposedly tragic situations turning out to be a surprising gift. Whatever you’ve been through or are going through, keep on going and remember that set backs are really set ups for something wonderful.

Oh, and Quincy does yoga so, y’know, we’re buddies.

(Now go watch Quincy on the ‘Flix).

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