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28.The Man Behind the Music

Michael Jackson’s influence in music will be felt for many generations to come. Millions of people were inspired by his musical genius and talent. However, his personal influence has yet to fully manifest itself, due in part to the fact that the man behind the music was largely misunderstood until his death. Prior to his death, the world rarely heard anything positive about him. For the vast majority of fans, information about who he was came from sensationalistic, tainted and unreliable sources such as news networks, magazines and tabloids.

Most people have learned that Michael’s image and reputation was manipulated to influence the public’s opinion of him in a negative way by those who stood to gain from doing so. They created a stigma associated with Michael Jackson, thereby making it acceptable to love the music, but unacceptable to love the man.

After June 25th, the truth came to light. Stories about his true character started to emerge. We became aware of things we had not heard before, such as the time he helped an elderly woman who became sick on a flight he was also on. We became aware of books such as Aphrodite Jones’ Michael Jackson: Conspiracy, which gave us facts about the truth behind the trial in 2005, where he was acquitted of all charges. Having gained access to new and truthful information, we’ve spent the last eight months getting to know and falling in love with the real man behind the music.

One of the most important things that came to light was Michael’s dedication to making the world a better place through love. In This Is It, we got to experience the way he carried out his message of love in his own life. He interacted with and directed his dancers in such a respectful and loving way. When he had to correct someone, he would say, "It’s all for love, L.O.V.E." We got to hear his thoughts about the secrets and magic of nature. We learned how sensitive he was to the beauty of the trees changing colors and how angry it made him to hear that every second the size of a football field is torn down in the Amazon.

As fans, we can carry out his vision of making the world a better place, but we have to be careful not let his message of love become a cliché. It has become commonplace for fans to use phrases such as "It’s all for love" or to quote lyrics from his songs, such as, "Love is the answer to all that I am." While these are all expressions of Michael’s message of love, we have to ensure that they don’t lose their magic due to repetitive overuse. To keep the magic attached to those words, we have to back them up with action.

Michael Jackson’s fans are in a unique position to be able to create positive change in this world because of our sheer numbers. He was one man working to make the world a better place, but through the unity of his fans, one man becomes an army working to make the world a better place. He started the mission and laid out the groundwork. Now he has passed the torch to us to finish it.

Our power lies in standing united. Michael Jackson has millions of fans all over the world. If we come together as a fan base, as a community, we could possibly be a force strong enough to create a critical mass necessary to affect positive change in the world. It’s when a critical mass is reached that magic begins to happen, and he left us with that responsibility.

There is some discord amongst fans that is currently preventing us from achieving that unity though. There is a difference of opinions and beliefs surrounding his life, his death and This Is It, and it’s creating a divide between fans, preventing us from being able to fulfill his mission. We have to recognize and accept that there may be differences in opinions and we can stay true to our own beliefs without attacking others for theirs. One thing we do all agree on is that Michael’s message was LOVE. That one factor will keep us united.

We can’t simply utter the phrases that speak of love. We have to reinforce those words with supporting behavior. We have to walk the talk, so to speak. Start by bringing more love into the world in areas that were close to Michael’s heart.

  • Help those less fortunate than you instead of focusing on your misfortune. If you are experiencing problems in your own life, turn your focus to helping someone less fortunate. There is nothing better to put things into perspective. You don’t have to look far to realize that there is always someone worse off than you are. Michael’s focus was always on helping those less fortunate.
  • Support racial unity instead of fighting against racial divides. Make sure your inner circle is made up of people from all races. Make an effort to understand their history, their culture and their feelings. Instead of looking for the things that make us different, look for the things that make us the same, such as the need to matter. We all want to feel loved and Michael knew that better than most.
  • Do what you love and love what you do. Michael brought a lot of love into the world simply by doing what he loved, which was creating music and dance. When you do what you love, you actually add joy to other people’s lives, because they feel that joy when interacting with you. That’s what Michael did for us. When he was on stage, you could feel love exuding from him, which in turn made us feel that way too.

Those are just a few ideas, but there are many more. As Michael said, "It starts with us."

Although we are each a dot in Michael’s portrait, one dot alone does not make the portrait. It is only when all dots are united that Michael’s portrait becomes complete.

Likewise, it is only when we become united as fans, that we can make a difference in this world, in the name of Michael Jackson. What better way to honor him than uniting together to ensure that future generations become aware of his personal influence on the world.

Lots of L.O.V.E.,

Linda Higgins

Director of Community Development

Enjoy the "short film" I put together to go with this article.

 If you can't view the video on this page click on this link.  Man Behind the Music  

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