Friday, June 26, 2009

Millions Mourn Michael Jackson's Death: What We Can Learn About Forgiveness

Yesterday, we lost perhaps the greatest music icon since Elvis Presley. Michael Jackson died at a Los Angeles hospital yesterday after being transported by ambulance from his Bel air home. Current reports are naming cardiac arrest as the cause of death, although an autopsy is being performed to confirm that. Jackson was 50 years old.

As I watched the world mourn the tragic loss of Michael Jackson yesterday, I was overcome by the sense of unity and goodness that always seems to accompany such an event. People came together, some in tears, to profess their sadness and to comfort each other during this time of loss. Every individual that was interviewed was quick to point out all the good from Jackson's life and to proclaim just how badly he will be missed. Appropriately, nobody mentioned his troubled past, perhaps it is forgotten.

We are all aware of the pitfalls in Michael Jackson's life. Everything the man did was under constant public scrutiny. But yesterday nobody seemed to remember that. There was no mention of plastic surgery, criminal allegations or failed marriages. Instead they recalled how his music, dancing and stage presence changed not only their own lives for the better, but changed the world. I was saddened, however, that he was not here to see it, because I know how pleased he would have been.

The world reaction to Michael Jackson's death, the mass display of forgiveness, while touching and uplifting, came a bit too late. If anything it reminded me just how fragile time can be. The present is so very precious, and the future, if anything, is a a gamble. I hope this horrible tragedy will forever serve as a reminder that forgiveness is the most powerful tool in the human arsenal and that tomorrow may be too late. Rest in peace Michael, you're forgiven.


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