Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel
Above, watch "The Way You Make Me Feel" video. Man Michael Jackson was so cool!
I was so nervous looking out at the crowd. So many people filled the auditorium. I saw my friends, my teacher, oh okay there were mom and dad looking hopeful, smiling at me. I was gonna be okay. I looked down at my knees one last time and over to the left at my friend with me on stage. The music began and we “tap danced” to The Jackson 5’s “Torture”. I don’t know why I loved that song so much, surely my 2nd grade mind couldn't grasp the lyrical depth but when I signed up for the annual talent show I just knew it had to be a Jackson song that I danced to…me and my patent leather shoes. I wanted to be just like the stars in the music video. And back then you couldn’t have told me that they weren’t real taps on the ends of my shoes.
Like many of you, I grew up with Michael Jackson. I had the glove, I knew all the songs, I tried to moonwalk, I used to stare in wonder when a new video premiere featuring the seemingly ageless King of Pop would come on television. Who can forget, “Remember the Time” with Eddie Murphy, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan & Iman co-starring with Jackson when it premiered? I sat in anticipation until its 9 p.m. debut! The thought provoking and humble, “Man in the Mirror”, the dance classic, “Don’t Stop 'Til You Get Enough”, who could EVER dare to redo the creative madness of the top selling "Thriller" and so MANY more.
I’m not here to talk about his money, his allegations, or his faults, something every human can identify with. I think Mike spent enough time on this earth being judged, vilified and dehumanized (remember the infamous linking of the elephant man to our pop super star?). I want to celebrate his life, his humility and his extreme philanthropy on this earth. No doubt God blessed this man with a great spirit, an incredible voice and amazing dance flexibility that many of today’s greats willingly admit used MJ as their inspiration. May all his deeds that may come under scrutiny good or bad be accounted for and to God’s supreme judgment, not mans’. For never had a super star in American history destroyed barriers as Jackson did. He crossed color lines until in fact he was colorless. Not many out gave him in creating music to bring a torn world together, bringing awareness to the hungry and challenging people to look within themselves to help a hurting species. Not many were as gentle in greeting fans or spreading financial help to children who hoped for a meal. Never can anyone tell a story of how Jackson said an Ill word to them, was unkind, or lacked his always present grace. And what a graceful being he was. In a world where we are constantly told to be gritty & look out for self first, where many pressured celebrities become easily annoyed with fans & ungrateful for those that ultimately put money into their bank accounts, this man always had his hand reaching toward others to see how he could meet the need possibly even neglecting his own emotional suffering.
Years of Jackson being the butt of many jokes, gossip and speculation never stopped him from attempting to give love. I don’t know how his heart could stand it anymore. And maybe it couldn’t at the age of 50 so he was allowed his final day of rest on June 25th 2009. There are no mistakes, he had accomplished enough. Possibly he was tired and his heart had broken too many times beyond repair. I’m not sure but I do know that with rest comes peace. Finally! So today I encourage a celebration of his life, his legacy and the supreme genius of Michael Jackson’s iconic talent! I doubt there will be another woven of such fine cloth that could hypnotize even the most hardened of women and bring grown men to tears at his presence. Think about that…Wow!
I joyfully say, rest in peace Michael Jackson. I mourn only for his surviving young children and family & true friends that knew him the dearest and shall miss him the greatest. Peace and comfort I wish for them.