Since Prince’s death last week, I’ve seen many, many posts on social media lamenting his loss. I’m right there with everyone doing that; I fell in love with Prince and his music from the first time I encountered him. But since the day he died, I’ve also seen some posts diminishing the impact of his death. Posts about nobody publicly mourning the loss of lives in the Middle East, to murder, to suicide, to cancer, implying that we humans don’t know which lives lost are really worth mourning. I can’t help but wonder why anyone thinks that mourning Prince means the lives of other people don’t have meaning. Sadly, ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives die every day without receiving the recognition they deserved. They are heroes to people that we don’t even know. The world is a little less beautiful with those people gone. But the fact that people publicly mourn the loss of a celebrity doesn’t mean all those other people don’t matter. Many say that Prince did nothing but record songs, promote unhealthy sexual images, and live a life of excess because of all the money he made. They forget that Prince was an artist. He broke boundaries. He encouraged individuality. He modeled what it was like to follow your heart and do what you loved. He was a writer, an dancer, and a musician. He sought out new talent to promote. He inspired artists that we probably don’t even know about. Just because his music or the way he promoted himself doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean he was meaningless. Just because he was rich and famous also doesn’t mean other people’s lives were meaningless, either. It is unnecessary and just disgusting to have to diminish one human’s life to make another “have meaning”. Mourn the people you will miss. Mourn the people who made your life rich but are now gone. But don’t try to imply that I don’t know the right people to mourn for.