Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Aspiring to be a Man in the Mirror

There is not much left to say that hasn’t yet been said, and to be honest, I am not completely committed to adding something new to the conversation. I am not overly emotional about the passing of Michael Jackson, but I am intrigued by the social phenomenon that surrounds his death. It is newsworthy, and superficially interesting, but there must be something to this hoopla that I have missed along the way. I know most of Michael Jackson’s lyrics, and many of my childhood memories could easily be accompanied by an MJ song, but even so, I would hardly consider going to a memorial site to write my name on a monstrous banner. Or stand in line to get tickets to attend the memorial, and I would most definitely never be caught with flowers and stuffed animals so that I could place them on a memorial site. I do, however, find myself turning my head toward the television to watch his tearful daughter say her goodbyes, and I cannot help but to well up when the people who really knew him are choked up while honoring his life. I even felt compelled today to introduce my 9-year-old to the “Thriller” music video that scared the pants off me when it was first released. He really was a remarkable man, and in so many ways I hope I can affect even a fraction of the change on the world that he managed along the way.

My moonwalk is unsteady and I cannot hold a note above high C, but there are some themes to Michael Jackson’s life that resonate with me, and thankfully resonated with millions of others. The body of work that he leaves behind will undoubtedly completely overshadow the bizarre nature of his public life in recent years, and for that, music lovers can be grateful. He changed the landscape of popular music and the lives of every musician to follow him will most likely have been influenced by his talent. Something is moved within me when I hear a song from the 80’s that recalls an emotion, a memory or an indescribable feeling that can only be reached through song.

I may never write award-winning songs or move an audience to screaming with my hip gyration, but maybe, just maybe, what and who I leave behind will be just as moved by my legacy. Isn’t that why people are drawn to memorial services like MJ’s? Don’t we wish that our lives counted for as much as his did, along with the fact that he moved and changed us while he was here? Maybe those who fought for tickets today want to be able to say that with their lives they really lived by attending the memorial of the greatest artist to walk the earth. For me, that is not enough of a legacy to leave behind, and I want to keep working toward that greater change.

I will take a page out of Michael Jackson’s book and start that change with the man in my own mirror. I hope to reflect in that magic glass a daily influence and a legacy that might amount to something.

If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place, Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change

To be honest, I will be thrilled if my kids are not the ones offering the tearful memorial, but rather my great grandkids, and because I have made an imprint on their lives too. Thanks Michael for all that you’ve left behind, and thank you for coming in a time where you can be visited regularly, on youtube.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more. Granted, I remember my parents introducing me to MJ, but still he was an amazing performer and did a lot of good for a lot of people that couldn't help themselves. Man in the Mirror says it all.


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