Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Contending with the Man in the Mirror

As I watched the heartfelt tribute poured out by fans and family alike at Michael Jackson's memorial today. One of the things that made me the most proud was World Humanitarian Award that Rep. Jackson Lee honored him with. I wish he could be alive to see it. The life and time of MJ will always be remembered through his songs, his words, and his performances. But we fail to remember that throughout all that, Michael lived a life of dedication and compassion for others.

His list of charities and organizations include: AIDS Project L.A. , American Cancer Society
Angel Food, Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles, BMI Foundation, Inc., Brotherhood Crusade
Brothman Burn Center, Camp Ronald McDonald, Childhelp U.S.A., Children's Institute International, Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund, Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Dakar Foundation, Dreamstreet Kids, Dreams Come True Charity, Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Love Match, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Minority Aids Project, Motown Museum, NAACP, National Rainbow Coalition...and the list goes on. You can see it here: http://www.allmichaeljackson.com/charities.html

So in these past two hours, i've learned two things. One, I think it's time to make a change. Not a physical change, not a spiritual change, but a change in the way I give back while I'm here. True, I don't have the financial ability to do as much as MJ, but maybe one day I will. Until then, you do what you can to help your family, friends, and total strangers, as Michael did. And two, you should appreciate people while they are ALIVE.

He was a universal household name, an icon. He touched lives worldwide and he was a brilliant man for who he was, while taking on the burden of sharing his gift with the world. This should be a wake up call to everyone, to not waste your talent, and never waste your gift.

I may sound like i'm preaching, but so what. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, can I contend with the man in the mirror?

RIP ~~ Michael Jackson

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