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The Un-Intentional Bodhisattva

June 28, 2009

The definition of a bodhisattva is an enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others.

As we all know by now, the “King Of Pop” Michael Jackson has moved on in the great circle of life and death. Where he goes from here noone knows, but if I were to guess, his next life he do even greater things.

He was known for many things:

  • his miraculous dance moves (including the moonwalk).
  • his ability to sing over any melody whether it be disco, r&b, rock and more.
  • the controversial court charges (which regardless of what I or you think, he was acquitted of).
  • bubbles the chimp
  • his friendships with Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Emmanuel Lewis (aka Webster), Brooke Shields and more.
  • his over the top plastic surgeries.
  • and it’s not talked about as much as the court cases, but for his wide range of humanitarian work.

His list of charitable contributions is long, really long…

  • AIDS Project L.A.
  • American Cancer Society
  • Angel Food
  • Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
  • BMI Foundation, Inc.
  • Brotherhood Crusade
  • Brothman Burn Center
  • Camp Ronald McDonald
  • Childhelp U.S.A.
  • Children’s Institute International
  • Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
  • Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • Dakar Foundation
  • Dreamstreet Kids
  • Dreams Come True Charity
  • Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • Love Match
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Minority Aids Project
  • Motown Museum
  • NAACP
  • National Rainbow Coalition
  • Rotary Club of Australia
  • Society of Singers
  • Starlight Foundation
  • The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
  • The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
  • Transafrica
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope
  • Volunteers of America
  • Watts Summer Festival
  • Wish Granting
  • YMCA – 28th Street/Crenshaw

I probably missed a few, but that’s what a quick google search turned up.

Michael had a pretty hard youth, growing up he was not only pushed into the spotlight by his father Joe, he was forced. There were times when he would enter studio sessions, and as he walked to the studio he could see kids his age playing on the playground, laughing and having a good time, as he cried to himself on the way to work.

To his father’s credit, he probably would not have been as big a star as he was but Michael took that to a new level. Rather than become the typical celebrity of excess, he did what he could for others at all costs. He was not just a man of mystery but a man of compassion and love.

When he was interviewed during one of the trials he made comments about sleeping in a bed with children. While these comments may be controversial, and reprehensible to some, Michael’s mind was close to that of a child’s. Like a child, he felt that sharing a bed with someone who wasn’t loved and adored was not wrong. I went over these comments over and over in my head and was repulsed, but at the same time I tried to understand what he was saying, and it was the intention of a good heart, not what the media tried to portray.

Michael’s intentions were always good, misguided at times, but they were true and good. Many people took advantage of Michael over his life, but he still kept giving and trying to impact people’s lives in a positive way.

I want to, one more time, wish Michael good travels on his journey to the next life and pray that he will continue his work when he returns. Happy trails Michael, thanks for the memories and the impact you had on the world.into

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 29, 2009 9:59 am

    I don’t really know what to make of Michael Jackson as a person. When I consider his life, feelings of sadness arise – and anger at his father. But, as your post reveals, he was a complex human being (like all of us) and my condescending feelings of sadness only serve to turn a three-dimensional person into two dimensions. My mind continually moves toward the certainty of judgment. And so suffering continues.

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