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    Michael Jackson's LIfe Could Have Been Saved

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    Michael Jackson's LIfe Could Have Been Saved

    Писане by for all time on Пон Юни 21, 2010 7:31 pm

    This Friday marks one year since the passing of Michael Jackson. His
    legacy remains highly controversial. On one side there are ardent fans
    who consider him the central inspiration of their lives. On the other
    there are strident critics who believe he was hopelessly weird with an
    unhealthy interest in children. In the middle are those who simply love
    his music and miss his talent.

    The truth about Michael as I knew and understood him was something else
    entirely. Michael Jackson forever remained the broken boy who yearned
    for a normal childhood but was thrust reluctantly into a spotlight that
    slowly became addictive. Immersed in a celebrity culture rife with
    human corruption, he yearned to be innocent. Starved of affection, he
    spent his life looking for love but ultimately settled for attention.
    Surrounded by sycophants who indulged his every unhealthy whim, he
    longed to find an authentic and spiritual environment. And trapped in a
    cocoon of incarcerating fame, he craved to consecrate his celebrity to
    a cause larger than himself.

    The tragedy of his life was his failure to achieve these noble aims.
    Michael knew that God had given him a special gift and with it the
    power to 'heal the world, make it a better place.' He understood the
    responsibility of celebrity and was devastated as his was slowly
    transformed into notoriety. He hated to be hated and was crushed by the
    chasm between what he saw as his sincere intentions to do good verses
    the uncharitable public perception of him as a shallow materialist.

    Once, in the midst of the thirty hours of recordings we did together
    for publication in a book that would allow Michael to speak directly to
    the public, he revealed how defamatory his celebrity had become. "You
    get tired and it just wears you down. You can't go somewhere where they
    don't manipulate what you do and say, that bothers me so much, and you
    are nothing like the person that they write about, nothing. To get
    called Whacko, that's not nice. People think something is wrong with
    you because they make it up. I am nothing like that. I am the opposite
    of that."

    Polite to a fault, he was a soft and gentle soul who prided himself on
    being different to other celebrities. Whereas they partied in
    nightclubs, Michael loved being around ordinary families. Where they
    put, as Michael said, needles in their arms, he was a vegetarian who
    wouldn't be caught dead with a street drug. And where they, as Michael
    maintained, engaged in tawdry relationships, Michael preferred the
    company of innocent kids.

    What he could not see was that overindulging in medication prescribed
    by a doctor was just as destructive as a street drug and was motivated
    by the same celebrity emptiness. He was also oblivious to his own
    excess when it came to kids. It was one thing to show kindness and
    friendship to children. It was another thing entirely to invite them
    into your bed.

    I do not for a moment believe Michael was a *********. Those who judge
    him as such forget that the only time he was charged he was utterly
    acquitted, and it is time for the public to exonerate him as well. But
    he gave himself license to cross lines of basic propriety that brought
    him into disrepute and soiled his message as to the purity and
    innocence that adults could learn from children. For a man who spent
    his life trying to educate the public as to the wonders of childhood,
    this was a monumental failure, and he knew it. The suspicion cast on
    him by a public whose love he had spent a lifetime cultivating marked
    the principal sorrow of his life. It would have tragic consequences
    when he turned increasingly to painkillers to numb the ache.

    A year after his death what most haunts me is the knowledge that
    Michael's life could so easily have been saved. What Michael needed was
    not painkillers but counseling, not the numbing of an inner wound
    through drugs but the awakening of an inner conscience through
    spiritual guidance. He needed a wise voice in his ear guiding him to a
    mastery of his demons before they consumed him. Any number of people
    could have rescued Michael from impeding oblivion. Most of all, he
    craved the love and validation of his father. What emerges most
    strikingly in our recorded conversations -- conversations that Michael
    knew would be read by a wide audience, perhaps including his parents --
    was the hurt he felt toward his father on the one hand, and the extreme
    affection he harbored for him on the other. Michael had many fans, but
    he played primarily to an audience of one.

    But while his life is sadly irretrievable, the lessons to be culled
    from his life are not. Few were as eloquent in articulating the
    profound lessons parents could learn from being around their children.
    Fewer still were more attuned to the lifelong scarring of children who
    were victims of neglect. I can still hear Michael's daily admonishments
    to me to look my children in the eye and tell them I loved them and to
    never allow a night to go by without reading them a bedtime story.

    When first I learned of his death my immediate reaction, I am ashamed
    to say, was anger. You silly man, I thought. How could you? You knew
    your children, whom you adored, depended on you. You were the most
    devoted father. How could you orphan them? You Michael, to whom God
    bequeathed such unequaled talent, just threw it away?

    Twelve months later the anger is gone, replaced by a deep sadness. He
    was an imperfect candle. But his striving to go beyond the caricature
    he had become and redeem his life by visiting orphanages and hospitals
    was illuminating. The lyrics of his songs spoke to the human yearning
    to mend the broken pieces of the human soul and become whole. Whether
    it was encouraging himself and his fans to be the man looking in the
    mirror, or healing the world, he wished for his music to inspire people
    to choose goodness.

    A year after his untimely passing it is time to finally mourn Michael
    as a man. To remember him not as an entertainer, or to miss him as an
    international icon - an object without feelings or pain - but as a
    struggling soul who tried to transform the pain of his broken childhood
    into an inspirational message of parents cherishing their children. It
    is time to evaluate Michael his life not in the context of an idol who
    had much money and fame but as a man who searched for a real home that
    was not a stage.



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