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The recent suicide attempt by the singer Fantasia took the entire world by surprise, myself included. Nearly every time I’ve seen Fantasia on television, she’s exuded nothing less than positive, empowering energy. She makes music that most of us can relate to, and seems to have a place in her heart for those who are working to overcome their obstacles.

Her apparent drug overdose, for which she was hospitalized, came after Paula Cook accused her of having an affair with her husband Antwaun. Fantasia has also been plagued by reported financial troubles, a decline in her career and rumors that she and Antwaun might have documented their relationship with a sex tape. It seems that love can make us do some crazy things – all of us included.

I am not sure if Fantasia was deceived by Antwaun or not, but it’s not out of the question. Millions of married men and women tell their lovers one thing and their spouses another. But without making an assumption regarding whether or not Fantasia was at fault, I thought about how her suicide attempt might affect millions of her young fans across America, including my daughters.

First, every young person should remember the cliché that “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” I’ve personally hit the bottom of the abyss of love and found that it helped me bounce back to an even better place than I was before. I’ve been embarrassed, deceived, broke, and devastated, and in every single case, the problem was in my past within the next 2 – 6 months. When I look back on my teenage years and think about times that I thought about hurting myself, I thank God that I stuck it out until the pain was behind me.

Second, Fantasia’s suicide attempt reminds us that money and fame can’t buy happiness. Fantasia was once a girl with a dream, just one of hundreds of thousands of talented singers praying for the chance to become a star. Against all odds, she found herself on the largest stages in the world, living a life she never imagined. That life eventually led to financial tragedy, interpersonal complications and the suicide attempt we are reading about today. All this reminds us that being whole and happy on the inside is your ultimate key to true wealth and success. Money and fame can’t make you whole.

So, as you work to become successful at whatever you are trying to do, always keep in mind that your happiness is found on the inside. While it is tempting to think that more money in the bank, better looks or meeting the right person is going to make your life complete, the truth is that much of your psychological well-being is control by a person called “you.”
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book, “Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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