The mix Includes:
Michael Jackson Feat. Akon – Hold My Hand
Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
Jason Derulo – In My Head
Muse – Starlight
Beyonce Knowles – Halo
Iyaz – Replay
B.O.B. feat. Hayley Williams – Airplanes
Kelly Clarkson – Behind Those Hazel Eyes
Oasis – Wonderwall
Life Lessons On Love
“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.”
“Hope is such a beautiful word, but it often seems very fragile. Life is still being needlessly hurt and destroyed.”
“Be like children , Not childish but childlike.”
“Never rush an emotion, everything in life has a rhythm, it is the pauses and silences that speak the truth.”
“I look at things and try to imagine what is possible and then hope to surpass those boundaries.”
“Holding on to love is not wrong, but you need to learn to hold it lightly, caressingly. Let it fly when it wants. When it’s allowed to be free, love is what makes life alive, joyful, and new. As long as love is in my heart, it’s everywhere.”
“I am going to say something I have never said before and this is the truth. I have no reason to lie to you and God knows I am telling the truth. I think all my success and fame and I have wanted it, I have wanted it because I wanted to be loved. That’s all. That’s the real truth.”
“What good is freedom without love?”
“In accepting yourself completely, trust becomes complete. There is no longer any separation between people, because there is no longer any separation inside. In the space where fear used to live, love is allowed to grow.”
“For me, Love is something very pure.”
Love For Others
“But I will never stop helping and loving people the way Jesus said to.”
How can we preach, when all we make this world to be is a living hell torturing our minds. We all must unite, to turn darkness to light, And the love in our hearts will shine.
“What I enjoy most about performing is making people happy. Just to make a person smile means more to me than anything.”
“Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.”
“In spite of the risks, the courage to be honest and intimate opens the way to self-discovery. It offers what we all want, the promise of love.”
“I want my work to help people rediscover the child that’s hiding in them.”
“You never know how long you have with someone, so don’t forget to say I love you while you can.”
“Love is the human family’s most precious legacy. Its richest bequest. Its golden inheritance.”
“The courage to be honest and intimate opens the way to self-discovery. It offers what we all want, the promise of love.”
Heal the world, make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying, if you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me.
Love For Children
Children show me in their playful smiles the divine in everyone. This simple goodness shines straight from their hearts and only asks to be loved.
When I see children, I see the face of God. That’s why I love them so much. That’s what I see.
“I want to tell the children of the world, you are all our children, each one of you is my child and I love you all.”
“I’m not trying to be philosophical, but I really think it’s my job to help children. And I don’t care if people laugh.”
“What we need to learn from children isn’t childish. Being with them connects us to the deep wisdom of life, which is ever present and only asks to be lived. Now, when the world is so confused and its problems so complicated, I feel we need our children more than ever. Their natural wisdom points the way to solutions that lie, waiting to be recognized, within our own hearts.”
“I would like to think that I’m an inspiration for the children I meet. I want kids to like my music. Their approval means more to me than anyone else’s.”
Love For Hard Work, Talent And Music
“I love experienced people. I love people who are phenomenally talented. I love people who’ve worked so hard and been so courageous and are the leaders in their fields. For me to meet somebody like that and learn from them and share words with them—to me that’s magic.”
“Music is a mantra that soothes the soul…something our body has to have. It’s important to understand the power of music.”
“I start to spin as wildly as I can. This is my favorite dance because it contains a secret. The faster I twirl, the more I am still inside. My dance is all motion without all silence within. As much as I love to make music, its the unheard music that never dies.”
“When I perform, I lose myself. I’m in total control of that stage. I don’t think about anything. I know what I want to do from the moment I step out there and I love every minute of it.”
“I’m actually relaxed onstage. Totally relaxed. It’s nice. I feel relaxed in the studio too. I know whether something feels right. If it doesn’t, I know how to fix it. Everything has to be in place and if it is you feel good, you feel fulfilled.”
“A perfectionist has to take his time. He shapes and molds and sculpts that thing until it’s perfect. He can’t let it go before he’s satisfied; he can’t.”
“I totally enjoy what I’m doing and bringing joy into people’s lives. To me, and if I can bring one second of joy into a child or a grown-up’s life, then I have achieved my lifetime ambition.”
“I’m a person of the arts. I love the arts very, very, very much. And ah, I’m a musician, I’m a director, I’m a writer, I’m a composer, I’m a producer, and I love the medium. I love film very, very much. I think it’s the most expressive of all of the art mediums.”
“I love great music — it has no color, it has no boundaries.”
(Love) “It’s the juice and energy that motivates my music, my dancing, everything.
Love For Earth And All Its Creatures
“Innocent animals, they do not suspect that after all this time, they will fall from a bullet by the thousands. They will lie in the dust, mutilated by our shameless greed.”
“Planet earth, gentle and blue, with all my heart, I love you.”
“Well, I don’t know how this sounds, but I saw a picture today in the papers. A dolphin had drowned in a fishing net. From the way its body was tangled in the lines, you could read so much agony. Its eyes were vacant yet there was still that smile, the one dolphins never lose, even when they die.”
“What delights nature must feel when she makes stars out of swirling gas and empty space. She flings them like spangles from a velvet cape, a billion reasons for us to be awaken in pure joy. When we open our hearts and appreciate all she has given us. Nature finds her reward. The sound of applause rolls across the universe and she bows.”
“The infinity of God’s creation embraces me. We are one.”
“We have to heal our wounded world.”
“I feel sad to think how carelessly we treat our home. The earth we all share is not just a rock tossed through space but a living, nurturing being. She cares for us: she deserves our care in return. We have been treating Mother Earth the way some people treat a rental apartment. Just trash it and move on.”
Love For His Children And Family
“And I love my parents. My mother is like a saint. She is….she is not of this earth. She is unbelievable wonderful and I don’t have a bad thing to say about her.”
“I love my family very much. I wish I could see them a little more often than I do. But we understand because we’re a show business family and we all work.”
“I pray that my children will give me the benefit of the doubt. That they will say to themselves: “Our daddy did the best he could, given the unique circumstances that he faced. He may not have been perfect, but he was a warm and decent man, who tried to give us all the love in the world… I hope that they will always focus on the positive things, on the sacrifices I willingly made for them, and not criticize the things they had to give up, or the errors I’ve made, and will certainly continue to make, in raising them. For we have all been someone’s child, and we know that despite the very best of plans and efforts, mistakes will always occur. That’s just being human.“
“To make them hold their hands and look them in the eyes and tell them, “I love you.” That would be remembered forever. I do it to Prince and Paris everyday. (This was before Blanket was born.)
“Well, I enjoy taking care of my children myself. It’s fun. It’s why I had them. So I could take care of them. It’s great relief for me. It’s pleasure. It keeps me happy and laughing. They’re wonderful, sweet, innocent children….”
“They (my children) mean… It’s hard to put in words, because they mean everything. The way you would explain how your children make you feel… They’re the world for me. I wake up and I’m ready for the day because of them. I get them breakfast, I change diapers, if they want to read, we do a lot of reading, we play hide and seek, we play blind fold, and I have a wonderful time with them.”
“They love music…they are very much into the arts. But I don’t push them. I am letting them enjoy their childhood as much as possible. I really do. I let them go to the arcade and get out and go to the movies and do things. I think that comes naturally. You know, I want them to get to do the kind of things I didn’t get to do. So I fill them with a lot of enjoyment that way – a lot of amusement. You know? I get pretty emotional when I see them having a wonderful time; when they are on a ride and they are screaming and they are happy and they are running. It makes me emotional, cause I see they are having a real good time.”
“I say, ‘You should blanket me’ or ‘you should blanket her’, meaning like a blanket is a blessing. It’s a way of showing love and caring.”
“I do my best. Sure. I want to be the best father in the world, of course.”
Love For Fans
“They scream, they cry, they love, they support, they defend, they listen. My fans are everything.”
“My fans truly are a part of me, we share something that most people will never experience.”
“Some friends, you only see them when the sun shines.. My fans sustained me even in dark days. I owe them everything.”
”The fans don’t know how much I love them so. It really can get to a hurting feeling inside due to how strong I love them all.”
“I appreciate all my fans, on all occasions, everyday of my life. Its your presence and your loyalty that has given me great strength”
Love And Relationships
“Needless to say, I love the interaction between the sexes; it is a natural part of life and I love women. I just think that when sex is used as a form of blackmail or power, it’s a repugnant use of one of God’s gifts.” ~ Michael Jackson [Moonwalk p. 174]
“I do think that marriage can be a wonderful thing if it’s the right thing for the two people involved. I believe in love – very much so – how can you not believe after you’ve experienced it? I believe in relationships. One day, I know I’ll find the right woman and get married myself.”~ Michael Jackson [Moonwalk p. 254]
“Love is a funny thing to describe. It’s so easy to feel and yet so slippery to talk about.”
“Of course, I believe in love. Its beautiful when it’s right. My love life is like my music.”
The Last Tear – Dancing The Dream
Your words stabbed my heart, and I cried tears of pain. “Get out!” I shouted. “These are the last tears I’ll ever cry for you.” So you left.
I waited hours, but you didn’t return. That night by myself I cried tears of frustration.
I waited weeks, but you had nothing to say. Thinking of your voice, I cried tears of loneliness.
I waited months, but you left no sign for me. In the depths of my heart, I cried tears of despair.
How strange that all these tears could not wash away the hurt.Then one thought of love pierced my bitterness. I remembered you in the sunlight, with a smile as sweet as May wine. A tear of gratitude started to fall, and miraculously, you were back. Soft fingers touched my cheek, and you bent over for a kiss.
“Why have you come?” I whispered.
“To wipe away your last tear,” you replied. “It was the one you saved for me.”
Michael Jackson Love Letters and Love Notes
“I dream of you at night,” Message Behind A Painting, Julien’s Auction
I dream of you at night
You whisper in my ear
I wait for you in silence
Yet still you won’t appear
“You are my only love,” Dated Valentine’s Day 1991, Message Behind A Painting, Julien’s Auction
Even though your [sic] far above
I love you so completely
You are my only love
- 2. 14. 1991
[Name blacked out]
Thank you for illuminating my whole being. You continue to surprise me with both fantasy and wonder. I’m so sorry for not being here when you wake up. I love you, [name blacked out]. From the bottom of my heart and soul, from France to Italy, I love you.
I will call you when I have landed.
“I’m Crazy For You – Love, Turd” Michael’s Note to Lisa Marie Presley, sometime 1993-1996
Smell here ——>
I truly need
I hayven’t [sic] slept
litterally [sic] in 4 days now
I need to be away
from phones and
I must take care
of my health first.
Im’ crazy for you.
“Why Did You Take Away Your Love?” Love Letter Written After Blanket’s Birth in 2002 (possibly after 2005?)- Unknown Time And Source
Front of letter:
Why did you take away your love, the same love that made me unable to speak and made me forget my worries, the love that saved me? Tell me, did I come to [sic] short? Wasn’t I enough? Have I done or said something wrong? I believe in miracles and [blocked] angels. I know you escaped through heaven’s gates to brighten the [blocked]. I believe in FAITH, deep inside I feel that nature has banded us.
I have seen nothing but misery in my life until [blocked] all these years, I have been seeking to give while I only desire now to receive from you. Your heart commanded me to follow while my soul was hurt and my mind CONFUSED.
I allowed you to take possession of my feelings. In return, I loved, obeyed and honored you beyond words.
I revealed myself to you in ways from which I thought they were impossible.
I saw and still see you as my soulmate, as my wife and as the mother of my fourth child.
Back of letter:
Then what is your reason for leaving?
Why did you go away, silently in the middle of the night without me, the slave of your heart?
I cannot conceive it possible.
I know we are meant to be, I can feel it. Still I have no regrets for what happened between us, [blacked out]. I can only come to the conclusion that you have made an unnatural decision that was not supported by your heart, nor were these your words. It is my will to believe that other matters have caused you to run away like this.
But whatever the reason maybe, I will not let it divide us. I prefer myself to believe that our parting is only temporary.
Let me strive for another outcome.
For ever yours,
Call me [blacked out]
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
Quotes from Love Survives Blog / Rhythm of The Tide / Dancing The Dream/ Moonwalk/ The Michael Jackson Tapes and various interviews
I found these videos online and I thought it would be appropriate to share with you all today. I am sure that many of you have already read these stories, but when you put them all together, you can’t help but to be moved by them as I was. They will inspire you, but more so, these videos will help you to understand the kind of man that Michael was and what was really important to him. He loved God, he loved people and he loved the planet and all of its creatures. No matter what you believe or don’t believe from a religion standpoint, you can still learn valuable lessons from his example about caring for others. He was the greatest entertainer of our times, but his love was just as big, if not bigger. Michael was extremely gifted and he allowed God to use those gifts to bless others. I can only hope to get to his level one day. Michael is an inspiration to all of us that love can work miracles if you just have a little faith to go with it.
Have a blessed day! CP ♥
Originally posted on Stop Global Airwave Abuse:
“Dedicating The Dream” is dedicated solely to sharing Michael Jackson’s message of Universal Love and personal truth through the global charitable distribution of his book, “Dancing The Dream” to schools, children’s hospitals, shelters, and other organizations, as well as to individuals who may not otherwise have the means to obtain it.If you would like to contribute books for distribution, or request books for individuals and/or organizations in your area, please contact Sirenlovesmj or visit the website.
Dedicating The Dream is committed solely to sharing Michael Jackson’s message of Universal Love and personal truth through the global charitable distribution of his book, “Dancing The Dream” to schools, children’s hospitals, shelters, and other organizations, as well as to individuals who may not otherwise have the means to obtain it.
Source: Huffington Post
The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life — and your well-being — off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.
Never underestimate the power of a little kindness. When we’re supportive of others, we’re not only making a difference in their lives but in our lives as well. Volunteering our generosity make us happier individuals and can even help us live longer. Why wouldn’t we want to boost our own well-being while improving the lives of others?
Next time you’re feeling down, think about giving back — even if it’s in just a small way. Check out the playlist below, which is full of tunes that promote love and generosity. Tell us in the comments: What songs about kindness would you add to the list?
What A Wonderful World — Louis Armstrong
Try A Little Kindness — Glen Campbell
I’ll Stand By You — Glee Cast
Come Together — Joe Cocker
Man In The Mirror — Michael Jackson
Imagine — Diana Ross
Bridge Over Troubled Water — Clay Aiken
One — U2
If Everyone Cared — Nickelback
Stand By Me — Ben E. King
For more GPS Guides, click here.
Originally posted on mjjjusticeproject:
”A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.” ~~~Nelson Mandela
Dr. Patrick Treacy as long been a Vanguard for Michael Jackson and is one of his most vocal of not only Michael’s good character but also of his gentle, spiritual and generous behavior and assistance to world’s needy children.
Source: Newsday – By Brittany Wait
As three doves were released into the sky, 6-year-old Lauren Reilly, a developmentally disabled student at Premm Learning Center in Oakdale, waved, shooting kisses up to the sky.
“She always has a smile on her face and is kind,” said Reilly’s aid, Maureen Voos. “She’s like this every day. She was most excited to see the birds. She easily shows kindness.”
Reilly was among 110 Eastern Suffolk BOCES students who honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at a ceremony at the school on Friday that included the rendition of a Michael Jackson classic.
Students at the learning center — which serves Long Islanders ages 5-21 with moderate to severe developmental disabilities — learned about the importance of kindness, community and friendship through exploring their own acts of kindness.
Principal Carolynn Hansen wanted students to take away an understanding of all that King, an activist and leader in the civil rights movement who was assassinated in 1968, did to strengthen his country.
“One of the things Martin Luther King Jr. was trying to say is that we all need to listen to each other and work together towards a common cause,” Hansen said. “That’s what they learned.”
Students were given a white paper cut-out of a dove to write an act of kindness on. They then sang along to Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World,” while holding the doves, to later be displayed throughout the center’s halls. After the sing-along, the students shared their acts of kindness out loud, expressing why it’s important to them.
Known for her warm smile, Mariah Corbitt, a 17-year-old from Hauppauge, sat in her wheelchair holding up her paper dove to show other students and teachers passing by.
“Her act of kindness is to make someone smile,” said her special education teacher, Helene Davis, who has known her for 10 years. “It’s not hard for her because that’s what she does every day. She likes school and making her friends smile. She’s a happy girl.”
Davis said students were exposed to movies and books on the former civil rights leader.
“To celebrate his birthday,” she said, “we’ve been teaching students about what a great man he was, spreading the message that all should be treated equally and fair.”
Source: CNN iReport – By JPKC
We are in the heart of the holiday season and nearing the end of 2013. It’s a perfect time to reflect on our lives, our loves and our futures as we are considering our Resolutions for 2014.
One day a woman’s husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t “anymore”. No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more “just one minute.” Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye or say “I love you.”
So while we have our relationships and life, it’s best we love, care, fix it when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick.. This is true for marriage…..old cars…children with bad report cards, dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Life and death is important…the rest is just details.
Some things we keep — like a best friend who moved away or a nieces and nephews after divorce. There may be relatives not at the top of your list, but love them also and if not love, than at least like them for who they are. They may be having problems or low self esteem so cut them some slack!
There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what and no matter when. Teaching a child something new, helping people especially the elderly, volunteering some time and not just at the holiday times. Practice random acts of kindness. Both you and the persons you help will feel amazing. Have you considered that just maybe they have no one left in their life right now? Be a good human!
There really is just one race….the human race! Society needs to get back to the Golden Rule we used to teach our children….Do Unto Others as We Would Have them Do Unto Us. Can you imagine how just that one rule in your life could change this world for the better??
Smile….just because you can! I have learned that giving smiles away, (they are free and in unlimited supply) may just may make someones day who is having problems. Positive attitude matters in life. If you don’t believe that, just try it for a month, or even a few weeks and see if your life doesn’t change change for the better. If you want more people in your life, be pleasant! No one really wants to hang around with a person always saying “woe is me”! Snap out of it! Here is just one more good reason to smile…have you ever noticed how as people age if they are always unhappy that frown becomes their wrinkly frown face? To age gracefully remember to smile.
Life is important. Work on your connections with the people in your life. In our crazy too fast paced world we need to remember the most important thing you can spend on someone is your time. That time spent is especially is important with children. In a blink of an eye they are grown and on their own. There are no do overs in life! Jackie Kennedy had the correct perspective on this matter, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”
Sometimes you think you have a “keeper” and you find out you did not. Now it’s your turn to share this with all those people who are “keepers” in your life if you feel that way. Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them? What will be their last memory of you?Today is the perfect time to let them know. Tomorrow may be too late.
I was thinking…I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said. Don’t be afraid to let people know how you really feel about them.
Let every one of your friends know you love them. Even if you think they don’t love you back, you will be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do. Make peace with your enemies……and just in case I’m gone tomorrow share this. We need to make this world a better place and as Michael Jackson sang make the change first with the man in the mirror….yourself.
Remember always that tomorrow is Promised to no one. Appreciate your life and everyone in it because it could be a lot worse. Be grateful and appreciate not the trinkets and gadgets in your life but the people in your and today is the perfect day to do just that and change your life and this world for the better.
2014 the beginning of a better future for all of us!! I wish you all Peace, love, prosperity and gratitude!!
Source: Zee News India – By RD Alexander
We live in a world filled with greed, unrest, violence, hatred, jealousy and all the malice that are destroying and affecting our everyday lives in ways we cannot fathom. Peace is just a word and is vanishing into the thin air.
There is unrest in the Middle East; so too in the east, the west, the north, the south and at every street corner across the globe. Someone is being kidnapped, robbed, raped and even murdered; it’s a barbaric world where we are living in. And there is no justice (another word that just exists in words and nothing beyond).
And all these are being done for reasons best known or unknown to us – political, personal, and financial or for sheer pleasure.
Besides these, Mother Nature’s wrath– cyclones, typhoons, earthquakes – have resulted in deaths of innocents, loss of lives and property, thereby triggering pain indescribable agony.
The Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines and left millions homeless and many dead,
or the various earthquakes that left over a thousand dead during the year; mankind has been hurt and wounded, left in pain and agony, seeking mercy and help.
Even we have hurt and wounded Mother Nature in innumerable ways – excavations, deforestation, oil drilling, oil spill, global warming, etc. Who can ever forget the Deepwater Horizon Spill, also known as the BP (British Petroleum) Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; the explosion killed 11 and injured 17 others.
In other words, we have become selfish human beings and for our personal gains, we have destroyed, wounded and hurt our fellow brothers. And as another new year ushers in, perhaps, it is time that we think for our brethrens and the generations to come and make our world a better place to live.
When the legendary ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson sang one of his most popular songs, “Heal The World” in the early nineties, he knew that there was a desperate need to heal our world and make it a better place to live.
“Sadly, sadly, we live in a state of fear. Everyday we hear of war on the news, on the radio and television and the newspapers, always of war.
We hear of nations hurting each other, of neighbors hurting each other, of families hurting each other and the children killing each other.
We must learn to live and love each other before its too late. We have to stop! We have to stop the prejudice, we have to stop the hating, we have to stop living in fear of our own neighbors.
I would like all of you now to take the hand of the person to the left and to the right. Go ahead! Right now! I mean it! Dont be shy! Do it! It starts now! To the person next to you. To the left and the right. I mean it. Right now! Go ahead! Dont be shy. Do it! Do it! Now, tell the person … tell the person next to you that you care for them. Tell them that you care for them. Tell them that you love them. Tell them that you love them. This is what makes the difference.
Together … (Michael laughing) … (audience screaming) … together we can make a change of the world. Together we can help to stop racism. Together we can help to stop prejudice. We can help the world live without fear. Its our only hope, without hope we are lost.” ~ Michael Jackson 2002
There is certainly a corner in our hearts that reminds us each day to be better humans, live a better life and make the world a better place for life.
We alone can help each other – we know aliens will never come to help us, even if they exist. Among all the living being, only humans have the power to bring about significant changes meant for the welfare of one and all. We are given a choice- a choice to either wound or heal our world – to wound or heal our brothers and sisters.
There are millions out here who need help, a touch that could heal them. And every day, we are given a chance to heal the needy in our own way. It is up to each individual to take up a cause to heal our world and make it a better place to live.
The year that is on the threshold on bidding goodbye to us, has had its share of ecstasies and agonies. But with a new day, a new year comes and a new hope takes birth. We are given a chance to heal the world with renews vigour and aspirations.
Let this New Year 2014 be a year, an opportunity given to us to spread love, peace.
Administrator’s Note: This goes right in theme the article that I wrote this past Sunday entitled, “My Christmas Blessing.” CP♥ http://vallieegirl67.com/2013/12/15/my-christmas-blessing/
Christmas is the time of year when people stop to reflect and think of others. We buy gifts, send cards and sing Christmas songs. But Christmas is about something more than that. It’s about ultimate and unselfish love. Many Christians celebrate Christmas because of the birth of Christ. His coming into the world gave us the gift of salvation. If we look at this example, we will see that giving is more than just shopping for presents; it’s about being generous with your love for the greater good. Giving doesn’t have to material. You can give your time and service to child who needs tutoring, babysitting for a young mother who needs a break, visiting an elderly neighbor or giving some encouragement to someone who needs to know that they are valuable. The thing that I love about giving is that you don’t have to wait until a particular moment or occasion to do it. Giving is important for each every day of our lives.
I have always been taught to be a giver through family, church and by those I admire. When I think of true love and giving, Michael Jackson has been my biggest influence. I want to take this time to say how much I love and truly admire this man. I believe him to be more than a just a man, but one of God’s chosen angels sent to this earth to give us an urgent message to change our ways. He suffered and sacrificed so much throughout the course of his life, but he was also very happy and enjoyed the intricate path that he walked.
What always stands out to me is how he carried himself during his trials. The media and many people have said all kinds of things about him, but his response was always one of love and dignity. Just watching him perform or talk about the things that meant so much to him always sends out this energy that is so infectious! I don’t understand why some people can’t see the L.O.V.E glow that he had. He was so real and so genuine! He took on many of the world’s problems, but he did not see them as insurmountable obstacles; he saw the world through the eyes of faith. He was saw a world of people coming together in love and peace to solve things. If you want to know the real Michael Jackson, the answer is in his music. I know that we have heard “Heal The World” a million times, but carefully listen to the words over and over again until it really gets deep down inside.
Michael was a man of great faith. He had to be to achieve he did. Michael looked at every situation with the hope that he could change things and he let nothing stop him. Not only did he change the world of music, he more than did his part to break down the walls of suffering, injustice and hopelessness. As with most men of great faith, he suffered much prosecution. The Savior was unfairly persecuted and killed by unrighteous men. Michael is not Christ, but the same can be said about him. Michael believed in God and he tried to follow his path, so it is natural that he would take on a similar mantel of persecution as with anyone who tries to stand up for what is right. I believe that Michael understood this, which is why he didn’t address everything negative that people said about him. When he did address assertions against him, he did it with the heartfelt class and dignity of a gentleman.
The reason why we grieve so hard when people like Michael, Princess Diana, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Ghandi and Nelson Mandela leave us is because our spirit knows that another “light of love” has gone out of the world. We can feel the void deeply in our hearts that the world has becomes darker. They can never be replaced because of the value and knowledge that they brought to our human existence. That’s why it is so important to continue with the example and work that these great patriarchs and matriarchs of faith have taught us because if we don’t give and let love shine in us, the light will leave us. How sad that will be! The world will be in spiritual darkness much like it was in the beginning. I believe that is why our world has become so imbalanced in nature and in our relationships with each other.
I thought that Michael has changed my life before his death, but afterwards, I felt an “awakening” happen in me. I have been through so much pain in my life, but I never dealt with it. I was a zombie. I had fooled myself and everyone around me into thinking that I was ok, but I was not. My grief of losing Michael turned into depression, but it also turned into a mission change. He woke me out of the sleepy spiritual “coma” that I had fallen into and made me realize that if I did not do some cleaning of my own personal life, I would not ever fulfill my mission. I dealt with the pain by focusing on his messages and songs. In the process of healing, his words gave me the courage to take the necessary steps to embark on a new beginning. It has not been an easy path. I am still purging the toxic memories, people and events that I have allowed to hinder me. I wish that I had realized this years before, but I can’t dwell on that. Michael’s messages, music and words have been “my salvation” through this journey. I understand things much better now than I did before. Though he is gone, he is still making a great impact on this world, especially to those who have opened their hearts to understand what he was really all about.
As I sit here today, I am truly thankful to him for not being afraid to open his heart so fully and completely and for following his dreams. Now his dreams have led to the beginning of many dreams for others. We are now writers, activists, humanitarians and philanthropists on his behalf and it is spreading out to the rest of the earth. This was Michael’s dream and vision for the world. I don’t need anything for Christmas anymore. Not that I am rich monetarily, but I am rich with the knowledge that I now have. Instead, I focused on blessing a child who needed more than I did. Michael is not only my Christmas blessing, but he is a blessing to me all year long! Along with Christ, I thank God for sending him to us. He will always be my hero. No matter what your religious faith may be, I know that many of you reading this have been blessed by Michael as well.
Let continue to spread hope, light and love in the coming year. Forget about what is past; press in faith to follow your dreams. The best is yet to come, if you believe!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
(All Things Michael)
Source: Zambia Daily Mail – By Tione Ndhlovu
THE mention of his death brings a quiver to the spine. The very first moment I took to the news of his death from Facebook I am in shock; various posts read: RIP Mandela. It must be true! Almost in disbelief I log on to BBC news, I switch on my TV and every station is talking about his death.
People from the whole world; leaders and citizens alike at this moment we are all one, we all feel the loss, united in the same emotion. How is it possible that one man can touch the world like this, that one man can unite every person, country, nation and race? In one accord, we are all there getting goose bumps at the same time.
Mandela, where are you? Is a question I prompt my brain, but immediately I say that am flashed with his face; smiling his hands raised and his hand waving to the public, the rows of the crowd engross my thoughts I can almost hear his inner voice, relaxed, comfortable, peaceful. The one big thing that he longed for has come to pass, FREEDOM. AMANDLA! He shouts and a vicious NGAWETHU! Followed by jubilation of the crowd is heard in all corners of the world via satellite broadcast. The thunderous row is a celebration of a lion’s conquering. The lion has conquered.
How do I cry, how do I grieve? News items continue flowing; the one that catches my attention is his response on how he felt about visiting Robben Island for the first time after his release. “The value of our shared reward will and must be measured by the joyful peace which will triumph, because the common humanity that bonds both black and white into one human race will have said to each one of us that we shall all live like the children of paradise…” A man full of forgiveness, a man full of peace and he feels like a father to all of us.
Can one man possess such power? Can one man change the world so much and bring tranquility at a time of demise. The power locked in him today is revealed; it is the power of love, the power that Jesus came to unlock when he held the hand of a prostitute and a tax collector, the power that Martin Luther King Jr had when he said ‘I have a dream’; the power that Kenneth Kaunda had when he said ‘One Zambia, one nation’ the power that Barrack Obama had when he said ‘Yes, we can’; the power that Michael Jackson had when he said ‘We are the world’. Yes it’s the power of love.
Love that knows no color nor race nor age nor nationality, it’s the power of love, when we love we carry with us the power to build, to unite, to bring forces of fighting and wars down. Because we are one, world over, we are one. Nothing to separate us or we all would not be grieving one man in the same manner, shading a tear in the same manner, smiling in the same manner.
I have a dream that one day as One Zambia one nation, Yes we can make the world one because We are the world, and we are love.
Source: The Examiner – By Courtney Manlove
In an exclusive interview with American Gospel and R&B musician, Charity McCrary, she discussed the power music has in connecting us with our ability to change the world; an issue that is widely known and largely ignored. Based in Los Angeles, she started her career in music at a very young age, and has since had a mission to inspire social change around the world. She is an original member of the McCrary five from Youngstown, Ohio along with siblings Linda, Alfred, Sam, and Howard. She has worked with legendary such artists as; Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens, Jonathan Butler, Michael Jackson, and Yolanda Adams.
The McCrary’s have been extremely motivated and inspired by helping others through music. They notably performed for Nelson Mandela at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1990 after he was released from prison and provided Michael Jackson with emotional support through music and prayer during many of his court proceedings. Their goal is to be able to touch the human heart and inspire each person to recognize and realize a common vision of peace. The hope is to bridge the gap between music and this universal search for transcendence.
In today’s music culture, it is very easy for artists to lose their identity so quickly. In order to remain relevant and continue to be successful in this industry, you have to always know who you are, and by staying true to that. Your sense of who you are is measured by how much you are willing to give to people. -Charity McCrary
When asked to analyze current artists relevant today, McCrary referenced both Miley Cyrus and Avicii. Cyrus’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ references the emotional difficulties brought on by relationships, and also speaks to the consequences of trying to be something that you’re not. In Avicii’s soulful EDM song, ‘Wake Me Up’ feat. Aloe Blacc, the lyrics seam to speak to youth becoming lost as a result of being underestimated and by carrying too many burdens on their shoulders. McCrary states, ‘it is a great song about youth empowerment, encouraging people to have a voice for themselves.’ In a recent Billboard report, Blacc teamed up with director Alex Rivera to speak towards today’s civil rights immigration movement, giving the song even more breadth. Watch the original version of the video above.
Being involved throughout the years in helping humanity, The McCrary’s continue these global initiatives with a campaign titled ‘Let There Be Peace.’ McCrary shares that ‘the song pinpoints issues happening right now around the world and how people turn their heads due to the overwhelming nature of the topics.’ She continues to share that they want this to start with the individual, similar to many successful global campaigns. By giving people a platform to ‘‘plug in’ spiritually, in to what’s the norm and grab the hearts and emotions of the masses.’ They are anticipating a global campaign launch in late January 2014 that will be paired with material and resources available to the public around anti-bullying, domestic violence, and more. You can check back for exclusive updates here on examiner.com regarding the ‘Let There Be Peace’ campaign.
Fans may also find them on their upcoming television series, ‘The McCrary’s.’ The essence of the show is on the dynamics of a professional entertainment industry family working together and being appreciative of having a common talent they all share. They have been in production discussions with a few networks, but they are waiting for the right fit.
What are some of the most powerful music videos you have seen that encourage change?
More About Michael and The McCrary’s
Source: Letters From The Heart – By Howard McCrary
My Daughter Sarah woke me up this morning at 7am to tell me of your passing. I was hoping this was some type of publicity stunt that only you or Houdini could pull off.
I remember the first day we met in the summer of 1979 when my family as on tour with your family. The Jacksons and The McCrarys. Did you know we used to be called The McCrary 5? Oh never mind, long story.
When my sister Charity introduced me to you with my brothers Alfred and Sam at that swanky Texas house party you asked me if I was married and I told you I was separated from my wife and we were going through a divorce. That’s when you folded your hands and said, “I will be praying for you.” Then you introduced me to your beautiful cousin Jackie and folded your hands again and said, “I’ll be praying for you.”
10 minutes later you went to the other side of the room and made the praying gesture and smiled as you pointed at your cousin. I remember you doing this two more times before finally saying good night again saying I will be praying for you.
Michael right now I am praying for you. I am praying for you beautiful parents you introduced me to at The Omni Hotel in Los Angeles on your 45th private birthday party the evening your sister Janet asked me to play ‘Triste’ and her fiancée Mr. Dupree seemed a little upset as she held both my hands to thank me from her heart for 2 or or three full minutes for playing one of her favorite songs. It was so good to see Jackie that night and Tito and Randy too. Latoya was looking so beautiful as well. Every member of your family is so beautiful and gifted. I remember meeting up with Jermaine at Cocscos and as we shopped together we would talk all about you.
Do you remember that Christmas morning at your home in Beverly Hills when you and your children wanted to hear the children sing?
Seth Riggs called me and at your request asked me to arrange a choir of 12 children to sing at your home on Christmas morning.
I called my sister Charity and we contacted 12 of the best singing kids we knew, of course some of them being our own family members.
We had less than 48 hours to rehearse an coordinate this private production before the children got into the limousines from me and Tammy’s home from Sherman Oaks to be convoyed to your Beverly Hills Estate.
Seth proudly was there that morning to vocalize all the young ones as I conducted as the children sang with charity accapella, ‘Heal The World, Silent Night, Santa Clause Is Coming to Town ( Jackson style)’ amongst other songs as they sang on you staircase and you and your children and family sat in that grand foyer combined with the Cathedral like acoustics I could hear additional voices of angels that morning. It was a sacred moment for us all.
As you hugged Charity and I to thank us, we did a group hug with Seth and sumptuously enjoyed The Christmas Buffet you prepared for all of us. For these children it was a Christmas dream come true. If any of you children are reading this letter please share what that morning meant to you.
Your children Michael looked like cherubs.You were such a loving father.
Michael I could never understand how could the press could be so ruthless towards you. You are Michael The Angel.
I will never forget when I had the joy to work with Andre and Sandra Crouch on your Dangerous CD at Westlake Studio and we were recording the background vocals on ‘Keep The Faith’ and as Andre was conducting we came to an impasse for over 20 minutes until Andre turned to me and said, “Howard fix it!”
So I gave out the parts to the ascending figure of the word ‘FAITH’ leading to the release and you jumped up and down in the control room saying, “I Love It!”
It was that day you invited me up to the green room with my son Darius who was 12 years old at that time. He was part of a new TV sitcom called Family Matters and you told him, ”I hear you have been hanging out with Bobby Brown, he is not a good influence. Here take my number and call me anytime. If you need someone to talk to or spend time with, I’ll be there. The only thing is when you call don’t ask for me or they won’t put you through, ask for Norma Jean, it’s the code name.”
For the rest of that day at West Lake Studios he spent with you and was in heaven.
All the way home he held your private phone number in his hands aglow and raving about his new awesome friend.
As soon as we got home he asked if he could call you and I said yes of course.
So very excitedly Darius dialed the number and ask for Michael…click! Then he remembered the code name, called back and asked for Norma Jean…click!
Even still to this day he talks about that wonderful day he spent with you at the studio and learned the lesson of how important it is to follow instructions.
Once again and lastly when you went to trial in Santa Barbara and it seemed like the whole world turned their backs on you at another session producer Bruce Swedien pulled my sister Linda and I to the side and said,
“Howard and Linda , don’t believe The Press. Michael is an angel… he would never hurt the children.”
I never stopped believing in you or the pure soul that you are. I remember when you thanked my sister Charity and I for bringing 10 busloads of ministers and some of their members to support you during your trial at The Santa Barbara Courthouse. We had singers singing on behalf of you innocence and ministers interceding on your behalf for justice.
Thank you for graciously hosting all of us at Neverland not once but twice as we came to show you how much we loved you and believed in your innocence.
It is an outrage what some people will do for money. Greed, Delusion, and Anger is something you wanted to see our world healed of. Michael it’s not too late. I know there are others like myself who believe in your dream that we can have a better world if we only Keep The Faith.
As I began writing this letter the sun was shining in Hong Kong and now as I close we are in a Typhoon…strange but Michael…I am not surprised you were always bigger than life and now we know that you are.
You and your music, your smile, your dance, but most of all your message will live in our hearts forever.
You not only are ‘The King of Pop’, you are also…’The King of Hearts’
We Love You Michael !
Source: Michael Jackson’s Legacy
Get your tissues and be prepared for tears of pure JOY as we reveal the first photos of the beautifully finished building that is EVERLAND HAITI! This is the second children’s home funded by Michael’s faithful around the world, and the first to be fully built. This would not have been possible without so many of you. You heard Michael’s lifelong message and pleas on behalf of the children and you responded. Neither would it have been possible without Maman Bishop and her husband, the incredible builders and all those out in Mirebalais, Haiti, who dream hard, and work even harder. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you all. This one’s for all the lost children of Haiti. Love, love, love!!
Source: MJWN/ MJL
Following on from their previous projects, namely the Children’s Home in Africa and the Haitian Project, which is now fully funded, Michael Jackson’s Legacy group has now moved onto the California Coastal Horse Rescue Project. Read about this new venture below, and if you are able to help, please donate whatever you can.
LATEST PROJECT! California Coastal Horse Rescue, located approximately 80 miles from Neverland, provides food, shelter, rehabilitation and medical care for horses that have been abused, abandoned or neglected.
MJL’s latest mission, through Michael’s dedicated fans around the world, is to sponsor a pasture and a stall at this site. In addition, a dedication bench will be placed near the pasture which will allow people to sit and view the horses as they recover. What’s more, a plaque will be placed at each location in honour of Michael’s desire to heal the world. The total cost of the ‘Michael’s Pastures of L.O.V.E.‘ project is $8000 (approx. £5000 GBP).
If you would like to join us and each other in helping the horses, in Michael’s memory, please consider giving what you are able in order to aid the materialisation of another amazing tribute.
Source: Examiner – Rev Catherine Gross
November 20th was Universal Children’s Day. It went by with no fanfare, and no notice. The fathers are saddened because they do not get the attention on their day as mothers do. Nevertheless, often, neither mother nor father are aware of Children’s Day. Do we love our children, really?
The word ‘love’ has is used very loosely. Not many can define it, and only a rare few understand it, it is in fact quite a dismal consideration. We struggle in our search to clearly say what love is. There are a couple of explanations we can look at. There is the biblical definition of love in 1st Corinthians 13:4-7;
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The problem with the biblical definition is it does not say what it is, it only says what it is not. Certainly we can check the dictionary as well. Merriam Webster defines love as;
(1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates
(2) : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
The definition given by Merriam Webster is seemingly easier to grasp.
Again, the question is, ‘Do we love our children”. Here are some statistics that are worth concentrated thought.
1)A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
2) More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse.1
3) It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. 3
4) Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. 1
5) More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. 4
6) Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
7) About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. 5
8) In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
Universal Children’s Day was declared by the United Nations in 1924, “ By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November, marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.”
DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 1386 (XIV) of 10 December 1959
WHEREAS the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
WHEREAS the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
WHEREAS the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth,
WHEREAS the need for such special safeguards has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924, and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the statutes of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children,
WHEREAS mankind owes to the child the best it has to give,
Now, therefore, Proclaims
THIS DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD to the end that he may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon men and women as individuals, and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities and national Governments to recognize these rights and strive for their observance by legislative and other measures progressively taken in accordance with the following principles:
To date, the only person many of us have ever heard discuss the “Universal Children’s Bill of Rights’ is Michael Jackson in his speech at Oxford University for “Heal the Children”
“As you all know, our two countries broke from each other over what Thomas Jefferson referred to as “certain inalienable rights”. And while we Americans and British might dispute the justice of his claims, what has never been in dispute is that children have certain inalienable rights, and the gradual erosion of those rights has led to scores of children worldwide being denied the joys and security of childhood.
“I would therefore like to propose tonight that we install in every home a Children’s Universal Bill of Rights, the tenets of which are:”
1. The right to be loved without having to earn it
2. The right to be protected, without having to deserve it
3. The right to feel valuable, even if you came into the world with nothing
4. The right to be listened to without having to be interesting
5. The right to be read a bedtime story, without having to compete with the evening news
6. The right to an education without having to dodge bullets at schools
7. The right to be thought of as adorable – (even if you have a face that only a mother could love).
‘Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved.
‘If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can he dealt with. A professor may degrade you, but you will not feel degraded, a boss may crush you, but you will not be crushed, a corporate gladiator might vanquish you, but you will still triumph. How could any of them truly prevail in pulling you down? For you know that you are an object worthy of love. The rest is just packaging.”
The rest of this speech is well worth reading, or even simply listening too. I urge readers to do that.
Because The United Nation’s proclaimed November 20th as Universal Children’s Day, countries all over the world celebrate that day in ways that they see best for helping children. President Barack Obama proclaimed the following for this year.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release November 19, 2013
Presidential Proclamation — National Child’s Day, 2013
NATIONAL CHILD’S DAY, 2013
- – - – - – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
“Each year on National Child’s Day, America takes time to celebrate our most precious resource. We reaffirm our commitment to giving our next generation the tools to lead, innovate, and pursue their own measure of happiness.
‘In the United States of America, no matter where you come from, who you are, or how you look, you should have a chance to succeed. That is why we must build ladders of opportunity for all children — including high-quality preschool, strong education in key fields like math and science, and nutritious meals that give young people the energy to focus. Through First Lady Michelle Obama’s Lets Move! Initiative, my Administration is helping children develop habits that will let them lead healthier lives, and we are partnering with businesses, local governments, and non-profit organizations to ensure families have the information they need to give our children the happy, healthy futures they deserve.
‘Yet equal opportunity cannot exist while some parents are forced to choose between buying groceries, paying the rent, or taking their children to the doctor. Under the Affordable Care Act, new health insurance options are now available to millions of Americans. Millions of families will gain access to affordable coverage options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, including through Medicaid in those States that have chosen to expand coverage. Thanks to this law, children can no longer be denied coverage because they have a pre-existing condition. And most health plans are covering recommended preventive services for children, including developmental screenings and immunizations, without cost-sharing.
‘With the support of a Nation and the guidance of parents and mentors, our children can lead America into a bright new age. Today, let us strengthen our resolve to provide the opportunities their energy and creativity demand.
‘NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 20, 2013, as National Child’s Day. I call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate activities, programs, and ceremonies, and to rededicate ourselves to creating the bright future we want for our Nation’s children.
‘IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.”
Well, we are not presidents, nor are we over nations, but what can we do of our own accord? Perhaps it would be worthy of each of us to let people know that this global holiday exists, then everyone can say what they are doing, in harmony with the rights that have been declared for children. It is actually possible to take such a matter and place it in your heart so strongly that no one and/or nothing can shake it away.
One month prior to Michael Jackson making his transition, his doctor felt the need to give him strong sedatives for reasons unknown. The doctor recorded Michael Jackson as he spoke. One would think that a person under such extreme drugs would be incoherent. However, Michael Jackson remained focused on doing his comeback show at a high quality, and on helping the children with the money he would make. We can be steadfast and focused too, absent of the drugs of course. Here is what Michael Jackson said.
“ I’m taking that money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world. Michael Jackson Children’s Hospital. Gonna have a movie theater, game room. Children are depressed. The – in those hospitals, no game room, no movie theater. They’re sick because they’re depressed. Their mind is depressing them. I want to give them that. I care about them, them angels. God wants me to do it. God wants me to do it. I’m gonna do it, Conrad.”
‘Jackson: “Don’t have enough hope, no more hope. That’s the next generation that’s gonna save our planet, starting with – we’ll talk about it. United States. Europe. Prague, my babies. They walk around with no mother. They drop them off, they leave – a psychological degradation of that. They reach out to me – please take me with you.”
Jackson: “I want to do that for them.”
‘Jackson: “I’m gonna do that for them. That will be remembered more than my performances. My performances will be up there helping my children and always be my dream. I love them. I love them because I didn’t have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it. `Heal the World.’ `We Are the World.’ `Will You Be There?’ `The Lost Children.’ These are the songs I’ve written because I hurt, you know, I hurt.”
Michael Jackson literally died thinking of how he could help the children. He wanted everyone to know about Universal Children’s Day, that takes place each year on November 20th. I would that we could all be so concerned. We can learn about it, however. There is a Facebook group called National Children’s Day Campaign (In memory of Michael Jackson). It is the purpose of that group to elevate the consciousness of all those who will hear, about this special day for children. The group is moving forward in its promise to honor Michael Jackson for all that he did for children.
The United Nations created this holiday, but it is up to us to celebrate and love our children. A little more about Childrens day. “Children’s Day is acclaimed in a multitude of countries. It is a global honor to all of our children. The World Conference began the holiday for the in 1925 for the security and happiness of children. Although it is the same holiday, each nation has given it the name they think is appropriate. In the United States it is called ‘National Child’s Day’. Following are some of the countries that recognize this day.
2.1 Argentina, 2.2 Armenia, 2.3 Australia, 2.4 Azerbaijan, 2.5 Bangladesh, 2.6 Bolivia, 2.7 Brazil,
2.8 Bulgaria, 2.9 Canada, 2.10 Central Africa, 2.11 Chile, 2.12 Greater China, 2.12.1 Hong Kong,
2.12.2 Mainland China, 2.13 Colombia, 2.14 Costa Rica, 2.15 Croatia, 2.16 Cuba, 2.17 Czech Republic,
2.18 Ecuador, 2.19 Egypt, 2.20 Finland, 2.21 Former and current Communist and Socialist countries
2.22 Germany, 2.23 Guatemala, 2.24 Honduras, 2.25 Hungry, 2.26 Haiti, 2.27 Indonesia, 2.28 India
2.29 Ireland, 2.30 Israel, 2.31 Japan, 2.32 Kazakhstan, 2.33 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
2.34 Republic of Korea, 2.35 Laos, 2.36 Malaysia, 2.37 Maldives, 2.38 Myanmar, 2.39 Mexico,
2.40 Mongolia, 2.41 Mozambique, 2.42 New Zealand, 2.43 Nigeria, 2.44 Nicaragua, 2.45 Norway
2.46 Pakistan, 2.47 Palestine, 2.48 Panama, 2.49 Paraguay, 2.50 Peru, 2.51 Philippines, 2.52 Poland
2.53 Portugal and former colonies, 2.54 Romania, 2.55 Russian Federation, 2.56 Singapore
2.57 South Africa, 2.58 South Sudan, 2.59 Slovakia, 2.60 Spain, 2.61 Sri Lanka, 2.62 Sudan
2.63 Sweden, 2.64 Taiwan, 2.65 Thailand, 2.66 Trinidad and Tobago, 2.67 Tunisia, 2.68 Turkey
2.69 Ukraine, 2.70 United States of America, 2.71 Uruguay, 2.72 Vanuatu, 2.73 Venezuela, 2.74 Vietnam
Source: Inquirer News- By Malou Guanzon – Apaliok/ MJ – Beat
We Are The World,” the 1985 charity anthem written by the late Michael Jackson for famine-ravaged Africa 28 years ago is enjoying a revival of sorts, thanks to creative netizens who updated the music video. Overlaid with a slew of images taken from the devastated towns and cities of Leyte and Samar, it is making the rounds of social networking sites because of its current and relevant themes.
The Yolanda version, so to speak is actually overlaid in the 2010 remake of the popular song recorded by a group of international celebrities for earthquake victims in Haiti, in which more than 200,000 died and hundreds of thousands more were injured and left homeless after an intensity 7 earthquake reduced the country to rubble.
The backstory and success of the original “We Are the World” is interesting in the sense that the famine which hit the continent in the early ‘80s did not get the much-needed attention from western governments because they were wary that aid might be misused. Ethiopia in particular was running a Marxist government whose priority was buying arms in order to cement an illegitimate government.
The coverage of the international media highlighted the slow deaths in the continent. A staggering number of people (six to eight million) suffering from starvation could die in days unless the western world acted swiftly by bringing massive aid like water, food, medicine and shelter to the stricken area.
The media coverage put pressure into much of Europe which eventually gave 5 million pounds in late 1984. As international awareness and involvement mounted, a group of musicians led by former singer and activist Harry Belafonte staged a benefit concert in Europe entitled “Band Aid.” The cover of the benefit show was the song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” which led the US Africa relief aid program to produce and record the monster hit, “We are the World.”
Ninety percent of record sales and merchandising promotion of “We are the World” amounting to more than $64 million went to the relief campaign that brought not just short-term but long term benefits for Africa. Needless to say, the public gave donations that equaled if not surpassed the gross revenues of the song.
I’m writing about the international hymn of charity because it captures the spirit of solidarity as seen in the overwhelming outpouring of aid and sympathy for the Philippines after Haiyan struck eastern and central Visayas.
As I have mentioned in a previous column, the coverage of international media like CNN made it possible for the Philippines to explode in the world map in much the same way it did for Africa in 1984 and Haiti in 2010.
We owe the international media a debt of gratitude, especially Anderson Cooper and the CNN team for focusing on the Philippines since day zero. The sea of human suffering broadcast live and replayed many times during the day jolted peoples around the world.
I think it took less than 48 hours after the horrific images came out for superpowers like the US, United Kingdom, Australia, China and equally wealthy countries like Israel, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, the Vatican, etc. to come to the rescue of the Philippines.
The impact of international electronic media goes like this: our highest government official need not knock on the doors of foreign governments with begging bowl in hand because the images are so powerful that peoples and governments can only respond as humans would – with kindness and sincere desire to help.
Personalities who are bashing Anderson Cooper do not know what they’re talking about.
Running parallel relief efforts being undertaken by public and private aid agencies in the Philippines are international rescue and recovery organizations like the United Nations Children’s Fund, American Red Cross, Philippine National Red Cross, Oxfam, World Food Programme, CARE, International Medical Corps, Doctors Without Borders, ChildFund International, International Rescue Committee, etc.
The recovery of the devastated areas does not begin and end with the sending of relief goods. Rehabilitation should be long term and transparent.
Someone said the destruction wrought by Supertyphoon Yolanda is something that you won’t wish even on your worst enemy. I certainly agree but then again, the positive dimension brought by the killer typhoon is difficult to ignore.
Countries of different cultures and ideologies have come together to aid our country. Typhoon victims in general have shown fortitude and quiet suffering that many westerners cannot grasp. People from all walks of life are contributing whatever they can to alleviate the sufferings of their brethren. Those who have no money to spare give their time and effort by packing goods and sending them to ravaged areas.
Anderson Cooper said it best when he said, “Filipinos have shown the world how to live.”
Seven Lakes junior high school is sending a powerful “pink” message to women battling breast cancer. “Just Beat Breast Cancer” is the message they’re trying to send with a lip dub and dance video set to Michael Jackson’s classic. It’s now racking up views on YouTube. KHOU 11’s Mia Gradney reports.
Click here to see new cast: http://www.khou.com/entertainment/Seven-Lakes-Junior-High-School-Just-Beat-Lip-Dub-227055721.html
Originally posted on Little things that Matter - Lalita Raman:
On Sunday, I watched the Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour show by Cirque Du Soleil. I’ve always been a big fan of Cirque Du Soleil. There is a lot to be learnt about life and leadership from their shows, which I shall cover in a later post.
Watching the show, I couldn’t help think about the impact that Michael Jackson made through his music and his songs. His songs had and have a lot to offer on love, life, leadership, humanity, team spirit, togetherness, leaning in, and every little things that matters in life. Despite several criticisms, if you look at the legend that this man was, you will realize that Michael Jackson expressed his charisma, hope, humanity, compassion, sincerity and love through his music.
Source: The Michael Jackson World Network
A new book “A Life For L.O.V.E,” has been published by the compilers of “It’s All about L.O.V.E.” It contains stories about Michael you maybe have heard before.
Out in time for Michael´s 55th birthday anniversary, we are very happy and excited to let you all know about our new book “A life for L.O.V.E.” that is OUT NOW.
Some of you may have read our first book “It’s all about L.O.V.E.”, which portrayed the unique relationship between Michael and his fans through true stories by fans from all over the world.
For the last two years we have been working on our second project which is a first time ever collection of stories focusing on Michael’s humanitarian efforts.
As you all know, the whole world celebrates Michael’s musical legacy and his groundbreaking achievements in the entertainment industry, yet little is publicly known about the fact that he also broke records with his charitable accomplishments and that he used his tremendous popularity, influence and amazing success to call attention to social and political problems.
We wanted to help to change that.
“A life for L.O.V.E.” is the first book that concentrates on this important aspect of Michael’s life! On over 450 pages, this beautiful potpourri of true stories shows a vivid picture and personal portrait of a man whose declared goal it was to HEAL THE WORLD and start with the MAN IN THE MIRROR. Contributors from all over the world, including Howard McCrary, Seth Riggs, David Nordahl, John Isaac, Dieter Wiesner, Mike LaPerruque, Dr. Patrick Treacy, Teddy Lakis, former Neverland employees and many more who knew Michael, were his friends, worked for him, received his help and encouragement or got inspired by him, wrote down their personal memories and experiences with Michael.
Michael inspired millions through his message, but mostly his dear fans. Therefore the book also introduces some selected fan charity projects that continue Michael’s message and wish for a better world.
We hope many people get inspired by reading about Michael’s untiring fight against indifference and will find a way to do their share to help make this world a better place, too.
Joining the line of those keeping Michael’s message alive, ALL proceeds from this book are being donated to the “Make-A-Wish” foundation again – just as we did with our last book “It’s all about L.O.V.E”, which already collected over 6,500€ for charity. Therewith we would like to dedicate this book to Michael as our birthday gift for him.
We hope you are looking forward to hold the book in your hands now and read it, or give it as a gift to someone else – SPREAD the word – SPREAD Michael´s message of L.O.V.E.!
You can order “A Life For L.O.V.E.” in any bookstore near you, through its ISBN: 978-3-8495-5196-4
Or you can order it in various online stores (just don´t forget to type in the dots in L.O.V.E. to find it).
Amazon offers it in most of their national stores, click here for the US site:
and here in the UK.
PLEASE ALSO HELP US TO SPREAD WORD by leaving comments about the book on amazon or other stores and PLEASE like / join us
For more information please visit our website.
For further questions/feedback, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: UN News Centre
11 September 2013 – “We wanted to speak about peace in a way other than our speeches, which some people say are a little boring,” Simona-Mirela Miculescu said ahead of the launch of the Ambassadors Sing for Peace album, a compilation of songs promoting world peace, hope and togetherness performed by five United Nations Ambassadors and youth choirs.
“This is a beautiful synergy between diplomacy and music, and we’re very happy that we created this synergy” said Ms. Miculescu, who is the Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN.
“In troubled times like this, I think absolutely every kind of peace message has to go out. I hope when listening to this CD people will be aware of the fact that peace starts with each of us,” the Ambassador added before stepping on stage for a practice session of Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” prior to yesterday’s launch and live performance at UN Headquarters in New York.
The album also includes “What a Wonderful World”, “Paix Sur La Terre” and eight other popular tunes and one original, all sung by Canadian Guillermo Rishchynski, Cape Verde’s Antonio Pedro Monteiro Lima, Eduardo Ulibarri of Costa Rica, and Marlene Moses of Nauru.
“We tried to come up with unique ways to present these songs so it was a little more of a world music view […] than the standard pop rock covers,” said Gary Fry, Emmy Award-winning composer who arranged and provided artistic direction for the album.
For example, he chose a Brazilian Machado rhythm on the ABBA song, ‘I Have a Dream’.
For the background vocals, instead of several singers, Mr. Fry used children’s choirs and high school singers from the Chicago area, where he is based.
“They were so excited,” he said about the young singers whose voices appear on the CD. “Children are the hope of the future for peace so it just makes sense to have linked between generations for this project.”
Asked about the greatest challenge of working with politicians turned temporary rock stars, Mr. Fry said: “Their schedules.”
He added, “The great thing is every time they got together, they were so joyful, so enthusiastic about the music. In their day to day routines, they are often dealing with very tough issues… I hope everyone can see how much nicer the world could be if everyone just treated it like a big jam session.”
The final CD is the result of “the right organizations and the right people” coming together, said Ms. Miculescu whose idea sparked the project.
The Ambassador, a former pop rock band singer in a Romanian student band Symbiosis, rediscovered her love of music while singing and playing with colleagues in Iraq.
The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation sponsored the project as part of its 40th anniversary celebration. It also commissioned one new song for the album.
A former Symbiosis band mate of Ms. Miculescu donated additional time and resources from the Studio Audio Engineering (SAE) Institute in New York.
“Today is just the beginning,” said Yin-Chu Jou, Artistic Director at the Foundation in reference to the CD launch. The team is looking to identify other performance opportunities, and other ambassadors have expressed interest in participating in a second album.
The CD is being made available at the UN Bookstore, as well as on iTunes, Amazon and other major international digital and online sales hubs. Proceeds from the album will go to support youth assemblies organized annually at the UN by the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation.
Asked about a possible live concert in the General Assembly Hall, Ms. Miculescu laughed and conferred with her diplomatic and artistic colleagues: “Well, I wouldn’t say no but we are kind of shy.”
Administrator’s Note: In light of the recent attacks in Syria and bloodshed all over the world, I am posting this story with the hopes that one day people will embrace Dr. King’s message of love, peace and global harmony and stop the senseless slaughter of human life. Much love CP♥
Source: The Daily Star – By Brooke Anderson
BEIRUT: This week people across the globe are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, when Martin Luther King Jr. made his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
Tuesday evening, Lebanon joined the world as over a hundred people from different sects, races, nationalities and ages danced together for peace. In Ain Mreisseh, along the Mediterranean Sea, a coastline witness to numerous ongoing violent struggles – Lebanon’s Tripoli, Syria and Egypt – participants in “Dance the Dream” danced to the songs “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson, “One Love” by Bob Marley, “Trabak Ya Lubnan” by Tania Kassis and “Let the Sunshine In” by Fifth Dimension.
As the group danced to these songs of peace, the words of the late American civil rights activist appeared to be as relevant to the rest of the world as they were in Washington 50 years ago – that despite progress there continue to be major injustices that must be overcome before real freedom can be achieved for all.
“We hope this will give people hope in the dark days,” said Josyane Boulos, who helped organize the flash mob through Urban Art, the Beirut event planning company where she is managing partner.
“Of course a dance won’t change everything, but it can give hope, and hope can keep people going. Give peace a chance. That’s why we’re doing it,” said Boulos, who at 50 years old can barely remember a time when there was real peace in Lebanon.
Even during the calm times, she sees the country as a place where people still live in a society de facto segregated by sect and class, and one where residents from Africa and South Asia have virtually no opportunity for social or economic advancement.
Ironically, in a part of the world that is in the daily global headlines, it was by coincidence that the flash mob ended up being performed in Beirut.
It was the cousin of Boulos, Nanou Boulos Coranson, a Paris-based ballet instructor, who was frustrated when she learned that the flash mobs in cities throughout the world – including Paris– would be taking place while she was visiting her family in Lebanon.
A thought occurred to her: Why not put together a flash mob in Beirut?
She contacted the New York-based Karz productions, an independent film company that was organizing the “Dance the Dream” flash mobs throughout the world in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They gladly registered her Beirut group.
“I was thrilled to get interest from Beirut,” producer Richard Karz told The Daily Star, noting that Lebanon is the only country in the region to have a dance group registered in the global festivities. “It’s exactly what I wanted to happen – to have countries from the Middle East. The ‘I Have a Dream’ speech was a national story in 1963, and now it’s a global story with the ethnic conflict that’s going on.”
“Dynamic multiculturalism is the key to the Middle East and everywhere,” he added.
For two weeks straight, her troop of around 100 dancers – Lebanese and other Arabs of all sects, Ethiopians and Sri Lankans ranging in age from 4 to 65 – practiced jazz numbers that Coranson choreographed.
Meanwhile, her cousin the event planner tirelessly organized and publicized the event.
“The dream of Martin Luther King Jr. changed things in the U.S., and it changed things all over the world,” Boulos said. “We’re seeing it in Lebanon. People want peace.”
Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream Speech
We’ve Had Enough – Michael Jackson
Heal the World – Michael Jackson
Source: A Place In Your Heart(Blog Talk Radio) – By Rev. Catherine Gross
In under 16 months since the founding of the charity, MJL had raised enough money to finance the building of Everland Children’s Home in its entirety, as well as the funding for a generator and all interior furnishings. This was made possible by less than 300 fans from 27 different countries around the world. This groundbreaking initiative is the first time in history that supporters of someone in the public eye have joined forces to engage collectively in such a humanitarian endeavor. With Liberia, Everland is now being built in Haiti.
The hardship of hunger abounds amid the stone homes and teepee-like huts in the mountains along Haiti’s southern coast. The hair on broomstick-thin children has turned patchy and orange like, their stomachs have ballooned to the size of their heads and many look half their age—the tell-tale signs of malnutrition.
Source: Michael Jackson’s Legacy
A woodland acre grove together with a bench in Michael’s memory has given fans and friends of the beloved late humanitarian star the chance to leave a personal tribute whilst at the same time ensuring that his love of trees, his concern for the nature and the planet, and his song lyrics pleading for us to take care of the environment were not in vain.
What is Michael’s Acre?
The collective aim of this initiative was to raise the necessary funds (£3000 in all, approximately $4,500 USD) to adopt an acre of protected living woodland in the UK, in Michael’s memory, together with the placing of a commemorative bench (with a plaque dedicated in Michael Jackson’s honour) in the said acre. An acre (0.4 hectare) is approximately the size of a small football/soccer pitch. Typically, an acre will contain about 100 mature trees, although since each wood is unique, the number of trees will depend on whether the acre comprises a young woodland or an ancient forest.
Thanks to the amazingly generous people listed below, Michael’s Acre was fully funded by mid-January 2013. Donors were given the chance to choose a prefered location from several different woodlands throughout the UK. The location, finalised and confirmed in May 2013, is in Kent’s stunning Hucking Estate. Kent is a perfect location, given that Michael intended to reside in Kent had his sold-out concerts at London’s 02 arena been a reality. It is a convenient location for those travelling from London as well as for those travelling from Europe to the UK by sea.
Trees in this woodland are dedicated once and once only. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it means that now Michael has an acre of protected woodland dedicated in his memory, it will stay dedicated in his memory.
We are now waiting on an individually-crafted bench with a personalised plaque which will be situated in Michael’s dedicated acre. The bench will be made from certified oak hardwood – which is naturally resistant to decay – and will be made by expert craftsmen to very high and resilient standards.We have been told that the bench will be ready, at the very latest, by the end of August 2013, and it will naturally be situated in Michael’s dedicated acre. What’s more, the spot we have been allocated for the bench is right next to a beautiful large ancient oak tree, reminiscent of Michael’s beloved ‘Giving Tree’ at his Neverland Ranch home, where he would create some of his most inspiring songs. The wording on the dedication plaque is as follows:
In loving memory of Michael Jackson:
beloved icon and tireless humanitarian.
Michael’s Acre has been made possible by
fans worldwide whose lives his gentle
spirit touched. “What about flowering
fields, is there a time?” ~ Earth Song.
Visiting Michael’s Acre
Take a look at the two maps below, and you will be able to easily and accurately locate the acre of dedicated ancient woodland, now protected for posterity in Michael’s memory. As you will see, much of the acre can be located in Smokes Wood, while some of it stretches into London Wood. The entire acre encompasses stunning ancient woodland. To easily find the path on which the dedicated bench will be situated, simply look at the shape of London Wood on both maps. You will see horseshoes representing a path alongside the left of London Wood. Follow that path and the old ancient oak tree will be a perfect landmark as you get closer to the dedicated bench.
ABOVE: The official logo for the Michael’s Acre project. RIGHT: The logo that will appear on the dedication bench, alongside the Woodland Trust’s logo. The Woodland Trust own and take care of the land. Both logos have been painted so beautifully by our super-talented artist, Mimi.
Michael- in his own words:
”I remember writing ‘Earth Song’ when I was in Austria, in a hotel. And I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth. And for me, this is Earth’s Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth. And with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it’s about some of the joys of the planet as well. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is ‘Earth Song.’ And that’s what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria.” – Michael Jackson
“I love the Planet, I love the trees. I have this thing for trees – the colours and changing of leaves. I love it. I respect those kind of things.” – Michael Jackson
“What about flowering fields? Is there a time?” – Michael Jackson (Earth Song)
“I respect the secrets and magic of nature…I have this thing for trees…” “What about forest trails? We’ve turned kingdoms to dust.” “We have to take care of the planet, we’ve got four years to get it right, or, it’s irreversible the damage we’ve done.” – Michael Jackson
“The earth we all share is not just a rock tossed through space but a living, nurturing being. She cares for us; she deserves our care in return. We’ve been treating Mother Earth the way some people treat a rental apartment. Just trash it and move on. But there’s no place to move on to now. We have brought our garbage and our wars and our racism to every part of the world. We must begin to clean her up, and that means cleaning up our own hearts and minds first, because they led us to poison our dear planet.” – Michael Jackson
Dedicated donors who made Michael’s Acre possible (from highest to lowest)
Fans from 21 different countries have raised the £3000 necessary for this endeavour to be completed. Those countries were: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Vietnam, and Wales.
UK residents and visitors to the UK from across the world will now have a quiet and beautiful area in which to meet and enjoy remembering Michael, and the donors below who contributed to the success of this initiative will always be able to rest in the knowledge that they have helped a piece of living woodland to survive. Michael’s awe-inspiring composition “Earth Song,” is testament to his love of the earth and its power to nourish, nurture and sustain. This project is an endeavour to protect the earth’s rare beauty and ceaseless wonder for future generations to marvel at, revel in and enjoy.
The three highest giving countries from largest to smallest were:
1. USA (£777.22)
2. Sweden (£277.92)
3. England (£227.05)
THANK YOU FOR KEEPING MICHAEL’S LEGACY OF LOVE ALIVE!
Source: OpEd News – By Sylvia Martin
Amid the developments of the ongoing Jackson vs. AEG trial, claims about Michael Jackson’s posthumous earning power have been in the news lately. Recently, Cirque du Soleil premiered “Michael Jackson One” in Las Vegas, a co-creation with Jackson’s estate. Meanwhile, Cirque’s record-breaking touring show “Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour” has earned an estimated $300 million since it opened in 2011. As the fourth anniversary of his death nears, Jackson undoubtedly remains a money-making machine.
Yet the King of Pop gave the world more than entertainment and escapism: he also offered it charity and civic engagement.
The “King of Hearts” is how a twenty-something Chinese fan from Guangzhou province described the King of Pop to me.
A noted humanitarian, Jackson was hailed in the Guinness World Records for the most charitable contributions for a pop star (thirty-nine). He recorded charity singles such as “We are the World” and donated proceeds from multiple world tours to charities.
The deceased Jackson has in fact emerged as a global platform for philanthropy.
Spurred by Jackson’s premature death at age fifty, fans from Asia to Africa make donations in his name and partner up with non-profits and charities to help complete Jackson’s goals to raise awareness about the environment and provide charity for the impoverished and sick.
I witnessed firsthand Jackson’s ability to inspire when I attended a Jackson fan tribute in Guangzhou, China, in 2011. During the unveiling of a sculpture of the King of Pop, fans took up a collection for UNICEF. Surprisingly, I heard from numerous Chinese fans that they preferred to watch footage of Jackson’s philanthropy – visiting hospitals and distributing gifts to burn victims and cancer-ridden patients while on his world tours – even more than his performances.
Fans in Beijing took Jackson’s messages about the environment to the streets. On the first anniversary of Jackson’s death, they organized a “green bike march” in the highly polluted city to raise awareness about toxins and encourage the reduction of car emissions. Wearing Jackson T-shirts and sequined gloves, fans biked around the city blasting Jackson’s music from boomboxes and carried signs such as the one that proclaimed in Chinese and English, “Protecting the environment starts with yourself — I Heart MJ”.
Chinese fans continue to follow Jackson’s example, raising money for children with diseases. Some fans note that as a result of their exposure to Jackson’s messages about the environment and charity in his lyrics and music videos, they are more aware of energy conservation, recycling, and wildlife preservation.
Then there’s the American organization A Million Trees for Michael, a non-profit that partners with American Forests. AMTFM plants trees around the world in honor of Jackson. Their website states, “We’re committed to carrying on with Michael’s message…Our hope is to have ‘Michael Jackson Memorial Forests’ in as many countries as possible, on every continent, as Michael was so beloved all over the world.”
Founder Trisha Franklin claims she was moved by Jackson’s lyrics and visuals to save the environment in his posthumous concert film “This Is It”, and wanted to put his plea into action. As of June 2013, AMTFM has planted 26,922 trees in Michael Jackson’s name with contributions from the international fan community.
Another project to which Jackson fans contribute is the construction of an orphanage in Liberia, Africa, called “Everland”. Initiated in 2011, this project helps children from Liberia and the Ivory Coast who are displaced and orphaned from civil war and the effects of disease. Everland is organized by Michael Jackson’s Legacy, an Anglo-American charitable organization. MJL was founded by Dee, who was orphaned as a child and who, according to the site, “credits Michael for getting her through a traumatic childhood and later, for instilling in her a commitment and dedication to helping those less fortunate.” As of June 2013, fans from thirty-one countries have donated $49,471 to Everland.
Apparently, the realm of entertainment provides an alternate route to civic engagement, as USC’s Henry Jenkins has pointed out. Professor Jenkins studies the Harry Potter Alliance, a non-profit organization that uses themes from the Potter franchise to engage youth and encourage real-world social justice. The HPA’s site claims to “empower our members to act like the heroes that they love by acting for a better world.” The HPA mobilizes fans to raise money for disaster relief in Haiti, donate books for literacy projects, and raise funds for civilians in Darfur.
To be sure, philanthropy cannot fully address structural issues of development and inequality. Yet as concerned citizens we want young people to become involved in caring for the planet and its peoples. My students are interested in the HPA’s work and intrigued by the possibilities of fan philanthropy. Fan philanthropy, in that case, can be a powerful tool for civic engagement and social change.