As a society, we have become a people so quick to judge, condemn and ridicule. This critical tendency even reaches as deep as our churches, our workplaces and our homes.
Michael Jackson, despite his immense talents and philanthropic endeavors, was very harshly judged by so many. That included the media, many of us, and even included many in the church.
Some couldn't see past his appearance, the clothes he wore, his dance moves. Everything he wore and did was critiqued. Every move he made was put under a microscope that none of us, even those doing the judging themselves, could have passed judgement under. Though we know that God looks at the heart, we instead focused on everything but that.
We felt justified in judging him because we felt we somehow had a right. He was a celebrity after all, so therefore, he was our business. He had wealth, so therefore, we could be critical and judge and felt we had a right to know how he spent his money, despite the fact that much of that money went to charity. We felt that since he was in the public eye, that we had the right to scrutinize his life down to every minute detail, even though much of that which we heard, wasn't factual or accurate. We felt okay laughing at him, ridiculing him and labeling him as a freak, wacko, eccentric.
What we forgot, from the everyday hum of our workplaces, to our social groups, to our churches, to our living room sofas, was that Michael Joseph Jackson was a human being with feelings and a heart just like every single one of us who has been blessed to walk this earth. A human being who had to endure more than most of us can even begin to imagine. A human being who gave more to this world than many of us ever will.
We, as a people, so quickly judge anyone we feel is somehow different from ourselves. Is it due to fear, jealousy, something else? We turn our backs on those crying out for help, we tear apart and ridicule someone who is dressed differently, wears their hair different or is in any way out of the realm of what we ourselves, in our own smug way, consider normal or acceptable. We judge by race, skin color, creed, financial status, appearance. This tendency to judge has even reached deep into some of our churches, which should be places of welcome and should serve as hospitals to the sick, to those in need, to those needing a friend or a listening ear, despite how they are dressed. Jesus himself said that it is not the well who needed help, but rather, the sick and the hurting.
Despite all of this ridicule that Michael endured due to the press' inaccurate image of him being sent out to the world and our eagerness to buy it hook, line and sinker, Michael continued to speak about love, to teach us about loving and caring for one another, caring about our earth, cultivating and spreading peace rather than hatred. Even in his despair, he still held tight to his faith in God, he still cared about those who were hurting, showed love willingly and kept his heart anchored in kindness.
In the midst of all of this after his passing, I have seen fans arguing needlessly with other fans and forgetting their manners in how we should treat others and I have to wonder if Michael's message has gotten lost somewhere or if we were even listening in the first place. We still many times live with a lack of peace and we forget to love.
Michael's message about love, peace and hope is relevant still. It will always be relevant. We all need to make sure we are doing our part in making this world a better place.
God created a world of beauty and peace and order. Man in his selfishness, messed that up.
We have to stop judging and hating one another and we have to start loving. We have to be open to sharing and showing others that we love them. We have to work towards peace, and that peace starts first within ourselves.
When we follow our peace and our joy (thanks to my dear friend Cherry for reminding me of this), we are following God's voice. Fear and confusion, stress and uneasiness, all warn us we are going in the wrong direction. Hatred is the result of a lack of love, a lack of peace, and is the descendant of fear and confusion.
We judge and ridicule and laugh at because we are afraid. We are afraid of diversity. We are afraid of uniqueness. God created all of us unique and it is each individual's uniqueness that brings beauty to this world.
We can learn so much from Michael's life. Persistence, perseverence, faith, kindness, caring for and loving others, using our God-given talents and abilities to make this world a better place and make a difference. These are just a few of the qualities Michael possessed.
Haven't we done enough harm to others in the name of hatred, being judgemental and believing lies?
Below are two videos that speak to this so clearly and so emotionally. We all need to make a change, and that starts in our very own mirrors. In the way we treat others, in what we listen to and believe, in searching out truth, in changing our thinking and our actions and in following our peace and joy.