The passing of Michael Jackson brought back memories of some of his greatest hits, some of them popular 20 years after being created.

Jackson had a terrible childhood.  A childhood I cannot even begin to imagine:

The trauma he suffered from his childhood, the constant media attention and a medical condition which altered his appearance obviously had a role in bringing forth some of his bizarre behaviors.

Child molestation charges aside (he was acquitted), he managed to come up with some very inspiring music, which can often touch us in ways that other mediums cannot.

One of his hits, Man in the Mirror, deals with a man’s realization of how lucky he is and how he plans to make a change.

As I turned up the collar on
My favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin’ my mind
I see the kids in the street
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind
Pretending not to see their needs

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking hi
m to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

Man in the Mirror brings to mind another poem about being honest with oneself.

The Guy in the Glass is a poem about being true to yourself.  It is amazing how we can enjoy great food, wine, luxuries and still feel miserable if we’ve cheated “The Guy in the Glass”.

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

The word pelf in the first line means “wealth.” The word self is often incorrectly substituted.

It is startling how true that poem is.  Our minds have an innate ability to give us credit when we know we’ve earned it and feel guilty when we’ve done something wrong.

To improve, we should listen to these signals as closely as possible despite what social conditioning tells us.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mohondas Gandhi

Takeaway:  The hard work of improving yourself, your family, your country or anything begins with you.  We, as men, get the government/family/self-respect we deserve.

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One Response to “Michael Jackon – Man in the Mirror”

  1. A. Lala on July 6th, 2009 8:37 am

    Nice post. I agree with you that music can often affect us in ways that other mediums can’t and Man in the Mirror is certainly one of those songs that gets me every time.

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