Remembering the King of Pop, Michael Jackson

Like millions of Filipinos and billions of others worldwide, I found myself glued to the TV set watching the Michael Jackson Memorial. I never really was a big fan and initially, I couldn’t really understand what all the hoopla was about. After all, I rationalized, he was just another superstar, right?

However, as I watched the tribute to the legendary King of Pop, I began to see him in a different light. I saw him as the visionary who really wanted change to happen, and unlike others, he did let change begin with him. I saw him as the dreamer who never let those dreams fade, no matter what. I also saw him as the poor, troubled soul who was plagued by intrigue and criticism but despite it all, triumphed. These were words I never imagined myself using to describe the character I saw on television and the like. Perhaps the most humanizing portrayal of Michael Jackson was that said by his daughter, Paris: he was daddy, the best father anyone could imagine. Watching this little girl bravely fight through tears as she remembered her father made me realize how, no matter how hard I try, I often see people in a jaded and discriminative eye. I see them only as one dimensional beings, limited by what has been said and done, without really seeing the bigger picture. Though I may be a psychologist trained to distance myself from others, be non-judgmental and fair, I was reminded of how human I still am, just like everyone else. While I am able to keep these characteristics and skills in check inside the clinic or classroom, outside in my personal life I don’t.

Last night I took away an important reminder: indeed, if we want change to happen, it has to start within.  With that said, I am making a resolve to change. I realized that when I come across some juicy news, be it verbally or in a Plurk, for example, I tend to want to ask more about it. Sometimes I inadvertently fan the flame of gossip by asking more and exploring the extent of issues I am not involved in. That’s gotta stop.

What about you? You too can be a vessel of change. What do you resolve to change for now?

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