the passing of an icon, a legacy of love

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
-From "The Man in The Mirror"

Michael jackson Like the rest of the world, I am in shock and in mourning over the passing of Michael Jackson and yes, I have shed a few tears over the combination of brilliance, beauty and tragedy that marked his life.  I have to tell you though that when I heard the news from my husband, the FIRST person I thought of was Janet.  Having lost my last surviving older brother only one month ago, my heart went out to her and the rest of her family.  I know what it's like to get "that" call and to have your heart break in a way that you think you will never recover…. 

The "King of Pop" – dead at 50…  I just can't seem to wrap my arms around it.  One thing is certain however and that is, regardless of the oddities and the judgments surrounding Michael's personal life, no one can deny his imprint on the music industry and the lives of millions and millions of people around this globe through his music.

thanks michael                                                                                                                                    As for me, I remember being a little girl, watching The Jackson Five and being enthralled by the voice of this little boy who was only a few years older than myself.  Listening to songs like ABC and Ben – I still remember my friends and I forming a girl group and taking turns as lead singing Ben..  Those were the days and Michael was very much a part of it…. 

Once Michael went solo, we never heard much about The Jackson Five but they remain an integral part of the music of my childhood.  As a solo artist, Michael continued to thrill his audiences not just as a singer but as a complete musician and an incredible performer.  Who else do you know combined singing and dance artistry as well as MJ? 

a unique legacy of love                                                                                                                       I could go on and on but what strikes me as I listen to all of the tributes to MJ can be summed up in one word….LEGACY. If you have ever heard me speak, the one thing that I always speak to leaders about is this thing we call legacy.  I suspect that if you ask one hundred different people about Michael's legacy, you will get one hundred different answers because Michael's life and his music touched people in so many different ways.  He was a child star, a music icon, a performer who crossed racial and generational boundaries….  THAT is who and what we will (and should) remember – not the craziness borne of an existence we cannot begin to understand. As for me, the legacy that I will remember is that MJ's intention was to be purely and simply this:  love.  MJ was a human being that simply wanted to be loved and to express his love for humanity through his music. 

And of course, I always reflect at times like these on what my own legacy will be – what I want it to be – and if I'm living it….  What about you?  What will your legacy be?  What do you want people to say about you when you are no longer here? How will your story, your mission – live on?  The thing I want you to get is that "legacy" doesn't have to be as big as a Michael Jackson.  It can be the simple experience of a consistently loving "you" that people are blessed with every single day….

The passing of Michael also reminds us that tomorrow is not promised and that all we have is today.  In fact, all we have is this moment.  What difference will you make?

You were born to be great.

YES, you can!

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