“There is a deep truth in innocence. It’s simple and trusting like a child, not judgmental and committed to one narrow point of view.” Michael Jacksonhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC49th-Jf0s
Michael Jackson is often referred to as childish…a child who never grew up. He is even criticized for that. But, the simple fact is, Michael just never lost the magic and wonder of living. If being childlike is characterized by a lack of cynicism and negativism, if it refuses to throw away childish things in an effort to be sophisticated and single-minded, there is no doubt Michael Jackson held onto childlike qualities. Those who view this as naïve and simple-minded, unintelligent and out of touch, miss the mark completely. One of the things we learn as we really take the time to get to know Michael Jackson is that his values described his life style. He didn’t say one thing and do another. He valued the wisdom of children. He listened to their conversations. He encouraged them to think for themselves. He refused to become a part of the adult community that operated on greed, judging others, living life solely for oneself. He didn’t lie or cheat to get ahead. Remember the old adage, “Out of the mouths of Babes”? Children see adults clearly. They tell the truth until educated to do otherwise. They do not see color, race, culture, religion…those are things taught to them as they grow. “What we need to learn from children isn’t childish. Being with them connects us to the deep wisdom of life, which is everpresent and only asks to be lived.” (Michael Jackson Dancing the Dream). This wisdom is woven into every aspect of Michael Jackson’s actions, whether it was in his professional career or his private life. Put simply, he walked the talk. He was the child.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2c_3rJOIdA
But, he was an astute, articulate, powerful man who just happened to also be a genius. So, thinking of him as a man-child has its dangers for the man was anything but a simpleton. He had the responsibilities of providing for his family from the time he was a child. He knew from an early age what hard work was. He was educated and expected to behave like a professional when his peers were playing hide-and-seek in the park. When he set out on his solo career at age 21, he was the CEO, overseeing a billion dollar enterprise. He invested brilliantly. He created a magical wonderland called Neverland, a massive undertaking intended for the happiness of others. He employed thousands of people and made billions of dollars for his record company, tour companies and an insane number of attorneys. He was the face for PepsiCo and LA Gear. Creatively, he was the MASTER. His was an imaginative visionary until the day of his death. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this is not the definition of a childish person.
Volumes have been written and will be written in the future detailing Michael Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, recording, design, art, performance, theatre, business, film, theme park designs, and humanitarian and philanthropic contributions. As Michael’s vaults are opened wider, we will be overwhelmed by the contents. WHEN I SAY GENIUS, I AM NOT KIDDING.
To think that this astoundingly successful man could maintain a child’s heart, respond to the world with a child’s purity and love, is sometimes more than we can comprehend. Certainly, the adolescent myth-making media didn’t possess any of the tools to understand. Conversely, they made misunderstanding an artform. Of course, highly dubious motives are at the core of it, but, low ceiling imaginations, low intellect and a penchant to turn things into something sexual play heavily in their world. The media thrives on cynicism and enjoys judging in a most self-righteous way. And, their obsession with Michael Jackson is legend.
To facilitate our understanding, let’s turn to the expert on Michael Jackson…and, of course, that would be the man himself. His parable “Wise Little Girl” gives us great insight. This is taken from DANCING THE DREAM.
“I know a wise little girl who cannot walk. She is confined to a wheelchair, and she may spend the rest of her life there, since her doctors hold out almost no hope of ever making her paralyzed legs better. When I first met this little girl, she flashed me a smile that burned me with its blazing happiness. How open she was! She wasn’t hiding out from self-pity or asking for approval or protecting herself from a sense of shame. She felt completely innocent about not being able to walk, like a puppy that has no idea if it is a mongrel or champion of the breed. She made no judgments about herself. That was her wisdom. I have seen the same wise look in other children, ‘poor’ children as society sees them, because they lack food, money, secure homes, or healthy bodies. By the time they reach a certain age, many of these children grasp just how bad their situation is. The way that adults look at their lives robs them of that first innocence that is so precious and rare. They begin to believe that they should feel bad about themselves; that this is ‘right.’ But this wise little girl, being only four, floated above pity and shame like a carefree sparrow. She took my heart in her hands and made it as weightless as a cotton puff, so that it was impossible for me to even begin to think, ‘What a terrible thing.’ All I saw was light and love. In their innocence, very young children know themselves to be light and love. If we allow them, they can teach us to see ourselves the same way. One sparkle from a little girl’s gaze contains the same knowledge that Nature implants at the heart of every life-form. It is life’s silent secret, not to put into words. It just knows. It knows peace and how not to hurt. It knows that even the least breath is a gesture of gratitude to the Creator. It smiles to be alive, waiting patiently for ages of ignorance and sorrow to pass away like a mirage. I see this knowledge showing itself in the eyes of children more and more, which makes me think that their innocence is growing stronger. They are going to disarm us adults, and that will be enough to disarm the world. They feel no reason to spoil the environment, and so the environment will be cleaned up without a quarrel. A wise little girl told me the future when she looked at me, so full of peace and contentment. I rejoice in trusting her above all the experts. As light and love drive away our guilt and shame, her prophecy must come true.”
We see the silent secret Michael spoke about in him. He glowed with light and love as a small child and that luminescence continued through his entire life. It has taught us to see light and love in ourselves and in one another. This light has raised our consciousness to help heal our planet, our children and hearts around the world. Holding onto childlike innocence, Michael inspires masses of people to imagine a better world. “He moves like God is going through him. He’s just natural. There’s a purity to it. He’s a pure person. There’s no malicious intent in him at all. He’s a kid. That’s the true essence of a kid. There’s nobody more kid-like than Michael Jackson. People say, ‘Oh, he needs to grow up, he’s a 40-something year old man, but, the truth is that’s what makes him special. He sees the world in a different way. He can read the mind of an adult better than an adult can read his mind. That’s what makes him special, Mike has the mind of a kid and when you have the mind of a kid, you’re smarter than an adult. You see through the BS. Kids…you know how they are, they say the truth.” Brad Ratner American Film Director, Producer and Music Video Director.
Michael Jackson was perceptive. Michael Bush talks about it when he says, “Michael possessed a keen emotional intelligence that made him adept at analyzing body language and interpreting facial expressions. He could tell if you were bored, engaged, or excited about an idea just by looking at you.”
“For me, he was by far the most fun person I’d ever been around in my life. I just miss the fun. Everyone has their own thing about him as an artist, but, I always go back to the person he was, such a fun person. When I was a kid, if I knew we were going to see Uncle Michael, I would have butterflies in my stomach because I knew we were going to have the best time. He was the ultimate hangout person. The type that would talk about nothing til five in the morning, but at the same time, you’re getting tons of lessons. I just miss the person, the human being.” Austin Brown Nephew (Rebbie’s son.)
That trusting, fun, funny person eagerly gave to all who spent time with him. He often said how much he wanted to bring joy into people’s lives, and, without a doubt, he did. Many have said he should have been more cautious, less trusting. But, childlike innocence and distrusting are not compatible…it is an oxymoron. Michael was Michael in everything he did, every action, every word he uttered. He was authentic. That was his identity. “Stay true to you. He was persistent on me just being real, real in my sound, real in myself. Also to work hard at creating my own identity.” Austin Brown. That is the advice Michael gave. And, that is the philosophy he lived by.
“Michael was like a harp string, he was so sensitive and vulnerable that every breath of wind or emotion would reverberate through him in sensitivity.” Jane Fonda
“MICHAEL DIDN’T NEED ANYONE OR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD TO BE MICHAEL JACKSON. HIS SOUL AND HIS TALENT SHONE THROUGH AT HIS BIRTH. HIS CAPACITY TO LOVE AND FORGIVE HIS ABUSERS, HIS TORTURERS, THOSE WHO HATED AND ENVIED HIS TALENT…IS INSPIRATION FOR US ALL. MICHAEL’S SOUL AND TALENT FLOW AROUND THE PLANET LIKE THE TRADE WINDS AND THE SUN’S RAYS…FOREVER.” Robert Blake
My Dear Friends…we are on a journey seeking knowledge and understanding into the tapestry of a massive life. “Every life is both tragic and miraculous, I think, but this was so much more intense in Michael’s iconic life simply because of the scale of it.” ( L. Luzajic) Michael’s childlike innocence, his trust and vulnerability are woven into the fabric. This aspect of his character informs every other layer of his life and with it comes unconditional love, finding goodness and potential in people and the sparkle of light in the joy of being alive. Thank you for PAYING MICHAEL FORWARD with me. I love you with all my heart.