Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Truly Sad Life, In So Many Ways

There have been many people talking about Michael Jackson's life and early death over the last few days. Most of them are famous. One is not.
I am no prophet, and it did not take a rocket scientist to see the impending doom. Michael was a man in tremendous pain and his tragedy was to medicate his pain away rather than addressing its root cause.
That quote was from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who had tried to lead Jackson to a better way of life. He realized in 2004 that Jackson was unlikely to live a normal lifespan - it was already evident that Jackson was not healthy, in body, mind or soul.
Because Michael substituted attention for love, he got fans who loved what he did but he never had true compatriots who loved him for who he was.

Perhaps this is why, when so many of his inner circle saw him destroying his life with prescription medication - something he used to treat phantom physical illnesses which were really afflictions of the soul - they allowed him to deteriorate and disintegrate rather than throwing the poison in the garbage.

Michael's death is not just a personal tragedy, it is an American tragedy. Michael's story was the stuff of the American dream.

A poor black boy who grows up in Gary, Indiana, and ends up a billionaire entertainer. But we now know how the story ends. Money is not a currency by which we can purchase self-esteem, and being recognized on the streets will never replace being loved unconditionally by family and true friends.
His greatest sickness was not physical, nor was it mental or emotional - it was spiritual.

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