The lessons we are refusing to learn from Michael Jackson’s death

Posts looks at how we are so focused on how MJ died that we are losing 2 teachable moments. The first is prescription drugs. We are failing to use his death as a way to educate the country about the dangers of these drugs. Secondly, we are forgetting his vast legacy of service, which we should all try to emulate. Blog ends by stating that we should not be so caught up in MJ’s faults that we neglect our own. Whether you are a fan of Michael Jackson or not, his life provides a great example of how irresponsible the media has become. Rather than learning lessons from his tragic death, we are using his demise as a tool to drum up more TV ratings in a down economy. Death is something that is supposed to be sacred in every faith, however, some in the media are still speaking of Michael’s case of child molestation — a case he won. Despite his acquittal, people like Bill O’Reilly and Senator Peter King have resorted to calling him a child molester. O’Reilly even refused to call Michael an icon. This is opinion getting in the way of facts but that’s today’s “journalism”. Across the airwaves, new stories emerge everyday about Michael’s money troubles, alleged drug addiction and more. The problem is that we are not learning the lessons of Michael Jackson’s death.

I have not watched every news broadcast, but I have yet to see a special on the dangers of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are a serious problem particularly affecting our nation’s youth. Why are we not using this as a teachable moment? In the last year, we also lost the great actor Heath Ledger to issues of prescription drugs. We are spending more time re-burying Michael for the purposes of higher ratings, but we could actively be using Michael’s example to save lives. What better way to honor his memory than by doing so? Whether you feel he is worthy of me using the term “honor”, the point is the same. We should use death as a learning tool for the living.

Finally, it is also tragic that the media is still so focused on how he died, that there is no more talk about how he lived. Though there were obviously some questionable practices as it relates to his dealings with some children, Michael Jackson is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most charitable contributions for any musician. From organizations such as the United Negro College Fund to his work worldwide to help children, Michael Jackson used his curse and misogyny free music to help heal the world. Can we say the same? Are we trying to affect change where we are? Are we so consumed about Michael’s faults that we’re forgetting to look at our own?

At the end of the day, it is my hope that Michael’s legacy will be one of giving. He was an agent of world peace and we need more agents. Because of his death, I am recommitted to doing more, where I am, to affect change. I refuse to allow his passing to be in vain. If you believe that he did not set the right example, you should try to set a better one, even if you don’t have the cameras on you. In this day and age where your faults will magnified 100 times more than your good deeds, you should be glad that the cameras are not on you.