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As a proud Michael Jackson fan and Team Member of this wonderful Tribute Portrait, I am enthusiastic about wearing my MJ pins and related jewelry to work, and I carry my business cards to hand out to anyone who I think would be interested in joining us on this site. Fortunately my Manager tolerates my, as she calls it, “Obsessive Michael Jackson Syndrome, “but some of my co-workers and customers are not so open-minded. While I can overlook any personal remarks directed towards my involvement with the MJTP, it’s a little more difficult to ignore the slurs and innuendo’s directed toward Michael. As protective as I am of his name, it’s imperative for me to defend and protect it against these negative comments. I respond with love by directing people to read The Michael Jackson Conspiracy, by Aphrodite Jones and Michael’s Moonwalk, Dancing The Dream, and Oxford Speech, when really all I want to do sometimes is verbally chastise them for their ignorance. That was not Michael’s way and therefore I will not allow it to be mine.
I came to the understanding awhile ago that a lot of these comments are made without a clear knowledge or understanding of who Michael really was and what he stood for. Not Michael the musical genius and Pop icon, but Michael the man and great humanitarian; a man who did so much to change and inspire the lives of millions of people. Often people form opinions based on what they read in the tabloids and quickly regard it as the truth simply because it’s in print. Prejudging something or someone is a human fault that a lot of us have been guilty of at some point in time. I will be honest and say I have, but as dot members and fans, we have a unique opportunity through our connection to each other and the Tribute Portrait to teach others about the real Michael. We can set examples for others as Michael did for us by what we are doing in our own lives, work environments, communities and further afield, thus ensuring that his legacy and message is continued. We can inspire others to make a change by changing ourselves and becoming more actively aware of the importance in becoming his voice.
Out of all the great humanitarians in our age, Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Theresa to name a few, Michael’s concern encompassed more than just one cause. He was affected by everything from our environment to equal rights, peace, famine and the future of our world, the children. This perhaps was closest to his heart. Not having a childhood himself, Michael understood the importance of experiencing the joy and freedom of just being a kid, but he also understood that healing the world extended beyond healing the relationships between parents and children. It meant raising awareness of ecological issues and climate change before it was too late; before the face of our planet changed forever. One of his greatest fears was that his children would grow up in a world unrecognizable to what we have taken for granted for so long.
From changing the face of music to changing the face of the human heart, Michael touched us on a very spiritual level, reaching deep into our souls. His love was enormous, he felt things so deeply and stood up and spoke out for what he believed in. His message is perhaps the most important to ever be heard and we can’t allow his voice to become drowned out by the noise of life and controversy. On his behalf, we can carry his beautiful light into the world; we can become his voice and we can truly make the changes he so ardently believed in and bled for.
“In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”
Valmai Owens Director of Publications/Tribute Book Editor Creator/Editor of Fans In The Mirror Patchwork Project Organizer, MJTP
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