The Words You Speak
I didn't think I'd ever be writing a piece about Kevin Samuels.
In fact, I have made it a point to not write about him. He didn't need my help in getting any more attention than he already had.
However, in the wake of his unexpected passing I have seen an incredible range of responses. There are those whose hearts have been ripped out as they mourn the death of their relationship North Star and there are others who would throw a parade celebrating his demise if they could. Naturally, both factions are fighting like cats and dogs in the digital zeitgeist.
Yes, I watched several of his broadcasts. While he at times made some valid points, his delivery consistently lacked tact and genuine consideration for his audience. While truth is not always sweet and fluffy it can always be delivered with respect, and frankly he failed to do so. In my opinion, much of his perspective came from a place of inner turmoil and brokenness. Being twice-divorced and allegedly estranged from his daughter, I can say with conviction that his life did not reflect any of the advice he brazenly doled out to his viewers. From calling unmarried women over 35 "leftovers" to suggesting that women ignore their child's claims of being abused by their mates because "children lie," his rhetoric was cruel at best and downright dangerous at worst.
I by no means am celebrating his death. If nothing else I pity him. It saddens me that he was clearly incapable of finding and maintaining the high-value relationship he touted as the gold standard to his audience and thus the pain of his failure clearly spilled over into his platform. It is clear to me that deep down behind the designer suits and sharp words, he was a shattered shadow of a man whose only solace is that he was able to procure millions of followers on the foundation of collective loneliness and incel-inspired vitriol. My hope is that he is experiencing the peace that he was so desperately seeking on this side of eternity.
Undoubtedly, another KS disciple will take up the mantle and the message will continue on. Before that happens, though, there needs to be a bigger conversation. In the age of the relentless search for the high-value man and woman of our dreams, what "values" are we referring to? In case it hasn't become painfully obvious, economic standing has nothing to do with character, and some of the worst, most heartless, callous people can have multiple zeroes attached to their bank accounts. Money will always be made and lost, but it takes a special person to build and maintain character traits that will last a lifetime. How about we focus on the high values of respect, class, dignity, chivalry, courtesy, kindness, loyalty, collaboration, honestly, humor, forgiveness, faith, and last but not least the all-powerful LOVE that is missing from these conversations? When we stop seeing relationships as transactional and start seeing them as connective conduits for joy and positive legacies to enter into the world, then true healing can begin.
In the meantime, Samuels' passing should be a cautionary tale that we must live the way that we want to be remembered. Before you hit that "post" button or upload that video, remember that everything you share will be what you leave behind and will be open for discussion when you cross over. Leave something that will be a force for good, and live in a way where you will be celebrated and sorely missed.