A blog at On Being this week: http://www.onbeing.org/blog/to-be-yourself-completely-the-collective-grief-of-losing-prince/8640

We know — in our bones we know it — that when we have heard or watched Prince perform, we have seen a person, since he was a child, who was uncompromisingly himself. We cannot underestimate how powerful it is to bear witness to this, because it is so rare. And, yes, we sorrow for the fact that he is no longer here to be that.

But, even deeper down, we sorrow for ourselves and all the ways we are compromising who we are each day: the jobs and relationships that are killing our spirits, the bitterness we refuse to let go of, the small ways we diminish and silence our God-given gifts for the sake of safety and approval.

Prince had a choice when music came to him. He could just as easily have done something else. At some point, we simply stand in awe of how one human can affect so many. And here, collective grief channels Mary Oliver and lays this question gently at our feet:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”