“Because in truth, I believe all men are created equal… I just can’t conceive of how a person could hate another because of skin color.  I love every race on the planet earth. Prejudice is the child of ignorance.”  

–Michael Jackson 

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Yes, at the age of 14, I was taken in by the Thriller storm of 1983 like everyone else was. If you had a pulse, it was hard not to be entranced by this already rising, now bursting into the Universe, star named Michael Jackson. Who wasn’t pulled in by the music, the videos and the dancing? Wasn’t everyone trying to do the Moonwalk?

But for me, what pulled me into the soul of Michael Jackson even more than his infectious and contagious rhythms was what happened in 1985, when the song, “We Are the World” came onto the scene…propelled by Michael’s consummate desire to help the world…to help heal the world. Being the abnormally socially aware teenager that I was, I dreamed of the world, and for whatever unknown reason, I had a pull from even a very young age to do something–to help humanity and serve the world.  So when Michael and Lionel Richie came out with this incredible song that asked us to draw ourselves out of ourselves, looking far beyond our own small worlds of comfort and familiarity, I was right there with him. Oh, those little hearts in Africa…somehow I could feel them from my small-town in the Midwest–a place that might as well have been in another galaxy, but I got it.  My heart felt full that someone else cared; that soul was Michael Jackson.

It was Michael’s voice, his dancing and his electrifying performances that got our attention, but once he got it, he now asked us to go further, dig deeper, and feel a little more; he asked us to care–about each other, about this world. And not only care, but to DO something. To take action. To get out of our head and lead with our heart.

Ever since “We Are the World”–and in truth, even earlier…  when he was a child–Michael’s true mission was to spread love and awareness to this unique and special planet orbiting the sun.  He urged us, always, to extend our hands and hearts to each other no matter what race, religion or nationality–to all of us as ONE. This is what he lived and breathed and to him, there was no other reason for being here and he was our one true world citizen.

Hence, the numerous anthem songs:  “Man in the Mirror,” “Heal the World,” “Earth Song,” and “Cry”  Not to mention the song he immediately wrote and put into action once again after the tragedy of 9/11, “What More Can I Give?” Michael couldn’t help himself. His heart couldn’t take the pain of such unnecessary destruction, the separation of people, and the disconnection of souls.

On this, the anniversary and remembrance of that fateful day which captured the weeping hearts of the world: 9/11, I can hardly conceive of the extreme realities that exist on this one little planet–hardly a speck in this beyond vast Universe. How can the likes of Osama bin Laden and Michael Jackson even exist in the same moment–their worlds SO far apart as well as their intentions? Hatred versus LOVE. Did Osama bin Laden never know of Michael Jackson? Did he never hear a song? I wonder…

Anyway…  the mystery of this life and the journey of our souls–individually and collectively–never ever loses my attention or wonder. All I know is that we were all given the freedom of choice… to choose what world we want to create, not just in the future, but right here, right now.

So what do we choose?  Fear or Love?  Separation or Love? Destruction or Love?  Hatred or Love?

Michael led the way. He was the Man in OUR Mirror. In honor of those who had to fall on that fateful day (as well as those all over the world that still are falling… senselessly), we must get out of our heads and into our hearts and ask ourselves, “What More Can I Give?”

Thank you, Michael once again, for all the love that you gave…

We ARE the World.  God bless us all.

Lisa