An interestingly titled blog, I know. I will start by saying that no one could accuse me of being Lil' Wayne's biggest supporter. But, following his decision to take the opportunity to use his latest video to spread a message that will literally save lives, I am now a fan. Stop now if you have not seen his latest video and click here, to watch it... (scroll down to the second picture and you'll see the play button in the middle).
In this video, How to Love, Lil' Wayne and the Director elegantly demonstrate the generational impact that our life decisions can have on our children. As a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction, I've treated so many young women addicted to drugs and infected with HIV, and more often than not, their story has been eerily similar to the story that Lil' Wayne portrays in this video. That young women routinely go through this never gets easier to hear. I still remember the first young girl at only 19 years old who, addicted to drugs, and infected with HIV, told me of her life not just without a positive father figure--but with a physically and sexually abusive father and a mother who didn't leave him. She had no idea the risk she bore, simply because of her life experiences.
And this brings me to the title of this blog. Had she seen this video, she may have been equipped to make different life decisions. The video is a masterpiece. It will fill you with pain and anguish, sorrow and anger, and ultimately, hope. I can only believe that Lil' Wayne hopes that at least one young woman, or young man, for that matter, will watch this video, and be armed to make a different set of life decisions.
My hope is that others in Lil' Wayne's position--i.e. the superstars that have the attention of our young people--will take the opportunity to reinforce this message. In the long run, it could decrease the number of our youth who will have to suffer from HIV, depression, addiction and any of the other myriad of illnesses that are more common in those who have had a childhood filled with relationships defined by pain and abuse rather than love and support. And in the long, long run, that will save lives.