The sudden death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people, shocked people all over the world. It also made people think about their loved ones and how they would feel if they were gone in the blink of an eye.
Local rap star Bun B, one of those people, decided to so something on social media that will remind friends and family that he cares. "Well, I think everybody was sort of having that same reaction of how tragic the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter was this past weekend," he tells CultureMap. "And I think a lot of people kind of felt like I did in terms of maybe reevaluating and reprioritizing some of the relationships that we have with people that we generally care for, but maybe don't tell them enough, you know."
On January 28, Bun started posting pics of loved ones on Instagram and using the hashtag #FlowersWhileTheyreHereChallenge. The first person Bun gave love to is, of course, his wife, Queenie. "I tell her I love her every day," he says, "but it never hurts to say it again. It doesn't hurt to say it in front of the world as well." (Bun and Queenie even shared their tips on romance with CultureMap.)
That was soon followed by friends, family, co-workers, even a guy who grows some good weed. "People never say 'I love you' enough, I feel," he says. "And, so, this was a way for me to, you know, get that across to certain people."
So far, there are nearly 200 posts that includes the hashtag, with people (mostly Texans) across the nation sending love to husbands, wives, children, etc. But even if people don't take on the challenge, Bun hopes that people will be more respectful towards others, especially online.
"Social media, for some people, seems like the place to air these things out, right?" he asks. "But, at the end of the day, a lot of that behavior can be deemed petty. And I think right now isn't the time for petty beefs and that kind of a thing. And I think people are starting to see the big picture about life as a whole and, you know, not wanting something bad to happen to them or someone they didn't see eye-to-eye with and they didn't have any closure on that issue.
So, I think that using this hashtag gives people an outlet to kind of just say the things that they feel on their heart and get it out there — get it out in the open."