Soul Lessons from Aretha Franklin

We lost Aretha Franklin yesterday.

There are few people in the American cultural life who’ve transcended the boundaries to touch people’s lives the way she had. Her voice was divine, her demeanor graceful, her attitude powerful, and her impact on the society—including civil rights—indelible. 

I was going to reflect on the lessons she’s given us through her example; lessons of resilience, fortitude, hard work, grace, joy, humility. kindness, confidence, humor, honesty, justice.

Ms. Franklin showed us what greatness is possible when we live authentically, confidently, and with self-respect, embracing our God-given talents and giving, and living, freely. 

What is possible when we own it.  

In every note she sang, we felt joy, sorrow, strength, love, power, and pure bliss. 

Her angelic voice inspired tears; whether they were joyful or sorrowful, they were pure and soulful.  

Indeed,  she was the queen of our souls and hearts, and while she’s gone now, we are fortunate that her magic, music, and example live on. 

And so, rather than writing more, I will just leave you with the Queen herself.

May she remind you that you’re OK just the way you are, that it is alright to shed a tear, to sing, to fail, to win, to relax ... and that, no matter what, you’re deserving of respect, must always respect yourself, and never fail to demand the same of others. 

Here’s one of the best and shortest compilations I could find:  

Or that time when she made a U.S. president tear up: 

A PBS tribute, including an interview where Aretha reminds us: keep your feet to the ground.

Rest in power, Aretha!  

Adi Redzic