“Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race”
- Michael Jackson (From the song 'Heal the world')
This was my lullaby when I was growing up. And every time I hear his songs, a little boy jumps out of within me and wants to sing along. I remember what big of an impact the singer had in my life, in both musical and knowledgeable ways. His songs were just amazing music to my ears when I was little. Slowly, when I was old enough, I got to understand the lyrics and I saw more to Michael Jackson than ever before. To me he was not just an artist, but a teacher to the world. All his lyrics had a purpose, a true meaning that makes you think.
Michael Jackson is not even close to being the “greatest entertainer who ever lived”. He is much more. He was recognised because he went out of his way to do bizarre things that would guarantee that he would be noticed. And he was. When I saw my uncle and mom break down after hearing the news of Michael Jacksons' death, I understood how big he was to the world. Every generation has its moments when a beloved public figure is taken from us. It is a memory that often is forever etched in our minds. No matter how much time has passed, you can look back and remember exactly where you were when you got the news that made you question if things would ever be the same again. For many of us, Michael Jackson's death was one of those life-changing moments in time.
I consider myself lucky at times when I realise I was also a part of the Michael Jackson era. It is now a time for the Justin Beibers and Taylor Swifts of the world to get recognition and the upcoming generation will know nothing more. It sometimes haunts me thinking that maybe they will not be able to feel and love music the way we did because they do not have a Michael Jackson to guide them. It is sad how two decades ago from now we got to listen to music that gave us knowledge, confidence and hope, and now it seems to have taken a big change in direction from all of that to things like love, sex and alcohol.
We can not bring back Michael or any of those artists who have passed. But we can hope to live in a world where entertainers understand that being the greatest of all time is about much more than just making music; it is also about touching humanity in a way that forever changes people. It changed me, made me a better person, taught me about racism, human rights and gave me an open mind. Gone or not, Michael Jackson would always be playing 'beat it' in my heart forever.