Though he comes from the young American tradition, Michael Jackson is the embodiment of an old Indian soul. His actions are an expression of the philosophy of WEDA, which asked to work for the people…not for one’s own interests. BOLLYWOOD HUMANITARIAN AWARD given by the Film Board of India to Michael Jackson 1999
Michael Jackson never new a day in his adult life when he wasn’t famous. Just think about that for a moment. Can you even imagine such a life? I cannot. His public life began at age 5.
“One day, in the first grade, I participated in a program that was put on before the whole school. Everyone of us in each class had to do something, so I went home and discussed it with my parents. We decided I should wear black pants and a white shirt and sing, ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ from the Sound of Music. When I finished that song, the reaction in the auditorium overwhelmed me. The applause was thunderous and people were smiling, some of them were standing. My teachers were crying and I just couldn’t believe it. I had made them all happy. It was such a great feeling. I felt a little confused too, because I didn’t think I had done anything special. I was just singing the way I sang at home every night. When you’re performing, you don’t realize what you sound like or how you’re coming across. You just open your mouth and sing.” Michael Jackson Moonwalk
What excited Michael about being a performer was the creativity. Money didn’t motivate him. What motivated him was pioneering, creating, making magic and making people happy. During an interview with Adrian Grant, Michael was asked, “You wrote a song called ‘MONEY’. Having been a millionaire since you were a boy, how important is money to you?”
“I guess it gets things done…to fulfil some dreams you need to have financial backing. However, I think everything starts with a thought, like if you plant a seed which then cultivates itself, everything comes out of that. I never really thought about it when I was little, I always felt that I was compelled to do the things I did, I really did.”
“Do you find it difficult to relate to the needs and the pain of the suffering when you seemingly have everything you could desire?”
“No, No not at all. Being a world traveller I’m touched and moved by everything that happens, especially to children. It gets me emotionally sick, and I go through a lot of pain when I see that type of thing. I can’t pretend as if I don’t see it. It affects me very much. For some reason there’s a certain part of my concert where I break down in every show and in that spot I get a certain thought…I think of the plight of the children and it gets me every time. I don’t know why in that place, it’s during ‘I’ll Be There’ the thoughts just come to me and try hard to contain myself.” Michael Jackson MAKING HISTORY 1998 Adrian Grant
For Michael there was a higher purpose. His social conscience dictated his humanitarian efforts. These efforts began from the time of his youth right up to the end of his life. He was sensitive to pain in the world and was determined to use his gifts to help to make change. Fame brought with it responsibility. Witnessing the plight of children and the environment informed the lyrics he wrote. Anthems came from his heart to touch the hearts of others.
“Only one recording artist is receiving 3 World Music Awards this year, and, from what we have just seen, the accolades are justified. He not only sets standards for all artists in sales and use of recording and video media, but he demonstrates how the power of celebrity can be used to positive effect to help ease the problems of our world. The World’s Best Selling Artist of the Era…Michael Jackson.” WORLD MUSIC AWARDS 1993 Prince Albert of Monaco
AWARD FOR GLOBAL GOODWILL BENEVOLENCE AND PEACE
“And now for the recipient of this prestigious award, Ladies and Gentlemen, probably once in a millenium comes an artist who rises far above every other artist on earth and wins not only awards and accolades but also hearts, minds and souls. This millenium witnesses one such phenomenon…an artist whose fans can be found on every square kilometer of this earth from India to Belgrade, California to Calcutta. His music not only becomes popular and leaves you asking for more, but also makes you go out of the way to do something special for mankind, which is why he is what he is. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m honored to share the stage with the incredible , history creating, thriller of an artist. Please welcome the phenomena Michael Jackson.”Bollywood Humanitarian Award from the People of India 1999
“Thank you very much for this honor you have awarded me tonight. I’ve always believed that the real measure of celebrity success was not just how famous he becomes but what he does with that fame and fortune, especially in today’s technological and media-advanced society, the attention and fortune showered on an individual celebrity is oftentimes immensely dispportionate to his or her achievements. Today a person can literally become a celebrity overnight through the entire world and that kind of attention can be difficult for a person to handle. But, I have also learned that such fame can also be an enormously effective medium to focus attention and mobilize resources for a worthy cause. I have been blessed with so much and have an opportunity to do what few others can. But, I believe it is more than just an opportunity but a duty. I feel to reap and enjoy the fruits of my talents for myself would be selfish, irresponsible and unconscionable. In these days of such abundance and advancement in what we can do it pains me to think we do so little for our children. In some ways, I feel undeserving to receive an award for doing something that is my duty. I accept this award as a gesture of encouraging from the people of India and a mission to do more for mankind. I love you very much. Mahatma Ghandi knew how important bringing the world’s attention was to gaining freedom to India without using weapons. In some ways, he was the first person to truly understand the importance and power of the public. He has always been an inspiration to me and it gives me even greater joy and pride to be recognized by his people. We have the same mission to bring peace to the world. Thank you.” Michael Jackson
I have seen Michael give that speech many times. I have read his words many times. But, I never stop being moved by them. The power of the public. Just think about that. Michael understood that concept so well. Using his talents and fame, he went to the people time and time again…went to them with messages of truth and justice and awareness and awakening…of appreciation and so much love. He said, “THERE’S NOTHING THAT CAN’T BE DONE IF WE RAISE OUR VOICE AS ONE.” Yes, he was a public figure 45 of the 50 years he lived. And, he never failed to excite, to entertain, and yes, to help us all find better ways to realize our potential as human beings. Thank you, Michael for your social consciousness and your deep love for people. I am striving to be a better person because of you.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCzFUT17P8o
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LOVE.
I love your writing.. thanks so much Jude.
Thanks Jude for this. I heard that speech of Mike’s in the World Music Awards….funnily enough he used to be almost tongue tied when he had to speak…he was so shy. And he always started with ‘um or ah…’ I decided to suggest he rehearse with me…a speech without saying ‘um ‘ We did that and he got better and better. He became an excellent speaker eventually…I was proud of him! But never mind all that. …what he did with his immense fame and fortune was the measure of Michael Jackson! It is difficult to imagine all the fans he had and still has. But if you ever attended any of his concerts you would get a glimpse of it all! And it would shock you to your core! It did that for me. …shall never forget those experiences! Michael was unbelievable in every way!
Michael became a fantastic speaker. People never realized he had been so shy….. that he would be tongue tied! All that didn’t matter, however. The content of his talks and the performances of his music was so brilliant and beautiful! I was always in awe of him …there is no one else like him!
Time marches on but my regard and love for Michael doesn’t waver! I will always speak out for him just as I will resist and persist in my objections to the present government! All of us must move forward intelligently. I think about what Michael would do…..he would stand up for what he believed! Always!
And now we are at the end of July….2017. When I think of Michael, which is many times each day, the words strong, determined, kind, unselfish, fabulously gifted in so many areas….including cooking! And very funny with a great sense of humor and wonder. And love….he really was so joyous and loving! Oh dear….Yes! He was the best!