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Thoughts on “Headlights” by Eminem

This Mother’s Day brought something I never thought I’d see: Eminem’s video “Headlights.” I never thought I’d see it because, although it is yet another song to/about Debbie Mathers, his mother, the song is an apology. An “I understand now you did the best you could” song. Their strained relationship has been public and rapped about for years, so no need to go into that, but here is “Headlights.”

Needless to say, explicit lyrics.

It’s been fascinating to watch someone go through this range of emotions, to watch someone grow up publicly. He wasn’t wrong to say the things he said about her when he was younger. That’s how he felt, the pain he was going through. The pain thousands have gone through, and he gave voice to that anger and hurt. But now he has grown, (he’s in his 40’s) and he hasn’t hung onto that pain. Yes, it defined him when he was younger, but he didn’t let it destroy him, and he didn’t let it define him for life. He grew and changed, as we all should. If we are the same person in our 40’s as we were in our 20’s, WE have done something wrong, not those around us. As we live, we should have the ability to see that it’s not always black and white. There may be reasons people hurt us that we’ll never understand, but it’s rarely out of evil or hatred. A lot of times, whether we see it or not, they’re doing the best they can, given the circumstances. And again, we rarely know the complete story of what those circumstances are. But growing up, becoming an adult, means acknowledging that we may have gotten it wrong or we may not have known the full story.

Good for you, Marshall.

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