On Suffering, Compassion and Healing the World
"One can feel the urge, the need to give, coming from within him. He is such a pure and true person. … It’s my deepest, most heartfelt conviction that Michael Jackson is a good person, a fine young man with an incredible burden - responsibility - to carry on his shoulders."
Marcel Marceau, mime
" Michael had the weight of the world on his shoulders, no one expected him to carry it on his own"- Latoya Jackson, Michael´s sister
“If you really understood Michael, he was the most innocent, loving, compassionate human being that you could imagine. He was too gentle for this world. The trial really traumatized him, and hurt him and made him even more frail than he was.”
Deepak Chopra, spiritual author
"He was the most inspirational person in my life. His one dream was to cure all the sick children in the world. And when I'd say, 'Isn't that impossible?' Michael would just start to cry. He was very emotional about things that moved him. I guess you'd have to say he was a pure innocent in a world that wasn't so innocent anymore."
Brett Ratner, filmmaker and music video director
“The first time the J-5 did a benefit at a children’s hospital, Michael came home and cried all night at the memory of all those sick children lying in beds, some not even able to move their hands to clap. That is when he became actively involved in communicating with these kids. He corresponds with youngsters his own age in hospital all over the country. These are not letters dictated to a secretary by a superstar, but letters written in Michael’s own hand during breaks in recording or rehearsing or even in school.”
Note about young Michael Jackson from an old magazine
"It was my very first Michael Jackson Concert that I went backstage. It was cold out and I didn't have a jacket. As i walked in to the back part of the stage Michael looked at me in an odd way and said "its kinda cold out buddy" and said "here take my jacket" and i cherish it everyday. R.I.P MJ"
Paris, a fan via You Tube
"No one talks about when he did the Victory tour. I remember as a kid Michael being on tour with the Victory tour right? And every night on the news they would announce that Michael Jackson donated his money from every city that he did, he donated it to a new charity. He donated his money from the Victory tour to charities. I thought that was amazing. I’m like, wow! This guys donating millions of dollars every night to a new charity. Then he would stop in every city and every city he would stop at a hospital and visit kids that were burned, ill or whatever. He took the time to do all that.”
Cory Rooney, who worked with Michael at Sony/Epic
"I asked him, “Michael, how can you do that? How can you spend the time with these children who are dying and then go from that, on stage and give that kind of performance?” He said, “How could I not? If these children want to see me, I know I’m not important, but Michael Jackson the superstar is, and if I can make a child live an extra minute or an hour or a day or a month, then wouldn’t that be worth it?” Michael was always that way. If he would get a call from somebody and a child was dying, he would get on a plane and go and he would tell them, I’m going to be back in 2 weeks to see you,’ and alot of the times he extended little kids’ lives that way. It gave them something to look forward to down the line. You have to admire something like that."
David Nordahl, artist (www.reflectionsonthedance.com)
"Michael Jackson's not afraid to look into the worst suffering and find the smallest part that's positive and beautiful."
"My dear mother instilled in me very young to give back, and as I grew in God I knew what I had to do as a believer in Christ. I hate to see suffering, I hate to see people in need, and I feel God gave me a gift, and I have to use it responsibly by giving back, and I’ll do it until I have pennies left or the good Lord ...calls me home."...
Michael Jackson (2008)
"With just a little love and a little caring, I have seen kids totally turn around. Where you can't find any cancer at all anymore in their body. I've done it a lot of times. I'm not trying to say I'm Jesus Christ. We should just give a little more attention to the power of love and caring and faith and prayer."
Michael Jackson in the Martin Bashir outtakes
"My fondest memory here was one night (when) we had a houseful of bald-headed children. They all had cancer. And one little boy turned to me and said, ´This is the best day of my life.´ You had to just hold back the tears."
Michael Jackson, Who Weekly Magazine, 1993
"Every three weeks we have terminally ill children that come to…[the house, from charitable organizations such as Make A Wish Foundation, Dream Street, Starlight etc]...., and these are sick children, children with cancer. And I entertain them. And they come here to enjoy themselves. ... It brings out the child that lives in everybody.... I love rides and things like that and I share it with the children."
"....I love to do things for children and I try to imitate Jesus. And no, I am not saying I am Jesus, I'm not saying that.... I'm trying to imitate Jesus in the fact that he said to be like children, to love children, to be as pure as children, and to make yourself as innocent and to see the world through eyes of wonderment and the whole magical quality of it all and I love that. And we'll have like a hundred bald headed children, they all have cancer, and they're all running around. And they are enjoying themselves and it makes me cry happy tears that I was able to do this for them, you know. (It) makes me so pleased inside."
"... We have children that come who are fed intravenously...they are very sick, bedridden. They can't sit up and these beds, they are hospital beds, you push a button, you go up or you go down and they are able to watch. We have a magic show, we show the current films, there's cartoons, anything so that they can escape to that world of magic that they don't have a chance to experience, the world I was deprived of when I was little."
Michael Jackson, TV Interview with Oprah Winfrey, 1993
SB: ...If you were shown a lot of love as a child, maybe you wouldn´t need the world to love you and you wouldn´t be the superstar. Would you be prepared to give it up in order to be more loved as a child?
MJ: No. I would never give it up. That´s my job. I really believe it and feel it...
SB: ...That God has chosen you, given you this special...
MJ: I really believe that. If could come to see of the faces around the world and people say, "Thank you, thank you for saving me and my children. Can I touch you?" and then they start crying. It´s like healing. We are given this for a reason... to help people.
SB: (...) Do you feel that God gave you a certain healing power?
SB: So when you speak to Gavin you are healing him, not just speaking to him?
MJ: I know I am healing him, and I have seen children just shower me with love. And they want just to touch me and hug me and hold on and cry and not let go. They don´t even know me. You´ll see sometime when you hang out, or we´ll be in an open place, and mothers pick up their babies and put them into my arms. "Touch my baby, touch my baby, hold them." It is not hero worship like religions try to say, like idol worship.
"The love this man has on his face when he is with these special children is unbelievable. He is one of the kindest and most gentle men I have ever met!
One evening, we were watching TV and Travis hadn´t eaten for a couple of days. We came across the American Music Awards and Michael Jackson. Travis sat up and wanted to eat. He said I love Michael Jackson, mama!"
Mother of 5 year old Travis Thomas, who was suffering from cystic fibrosis. (Because of Make A Wish Foundation, Thomas, his family and twenty other seriously ill children spent a weekend in Neverland in 1995.)
"I love them so much. They´re my children, too. I remember we were in Australia and we were in this children-with-cancer ward and I started giving out toys. And I´ll never forget this one boy who was like eleven and when I got to his bed he said: ´It´s amazing how just seeing you I feel so much better. I really do.´ I said: ´Well, that´s so sweet.´ That´s what he said and I have never forgotten it. It´s amazing and that´s what we are supposed to do."
"I get frightened and hurt easily and the news frightens me very much, even if I’m not involved in somebody else’s problem. At Big Bear Lake I heard on the news that this little boy had his Christmas a month ahead of time, and Santa Claus was at his house, because he only had a week to live. Sure enough, in that week, he died – and that just got me so bad."
"I meet children like that all the time when we visit the hospitals. The doctors and nurse ask them, "You can go anywhere you want or do or see anything – what do you want?" And these kids request to meet the Jacksons. They say "You’ve got to meet this girl, she’s going to die tomorrow and ever since she’s been out of surgery she’s been calling your name." And, God, I just feel so wonderful to be a part of somebody’s ultimate dream. All my lifetime of work is rewarded."
"I tell the kids "I’ll see you next year", and sometimes the thought that I’ll be back next year makes them hang on. That’s happened several times. People told me this girl was about to die, but I kept running into her three years in a row – and the fourth year she died. The doctors couldn’t do anything, and for me to come in and help give her the gift of life really makes me feel good."
"Some people are chosen to do these things. These children will be drowsy, but Danny Kaye [a late American award-winning actor, singer and comedian] will come in and tell stories and make faces, and these kids will become so cheerful. Bill Cosby [an American comedian, actor and activist] is known for his ways with children, too. Nurses and doctors are totally amazed at the power of these people)."
"I get a taste of poverty, too. When I go to a country – like in the Phillippines and in Trinidad and in Africa – I really get out and go to the poor sections and talk to the people. I sit in their little huts, their cardboard houses, and I make myself at home. I think it’s important to know how different people feel, especially in my field of endeavor."
"Life is too precious and too short not to reach out and touch the people we can.
If I were living for no other reason than to help and please kids, that would be enough for me. They're amazing people.
I spend a lot of free time when I'm traveling, visiting children's hospitals.
It makes me so happy to be able to brighten those kids' day by just showing up and talking with them, listening to what they have to say and making them feel better.
It's so sad for children to have to get sick. More than anyone else, kids don't deserve that. They often can't even understand what's wrong with them. It makes my heart twist.
When I'm with them, I just want to hug them and make it all better for them."
Michael Jackson in his book Moonwalk
"It’s like when a mother sends her child off to war, they don’t know if they’re ever gonna come back, you know? How can we look at such things happening, and not, you know, want to do something? How can we turn our heads and pretend as if we don’t see it? You know? I can’t see people in pain and pretend as if it’s not there."
"Mike and I were very close. We used to go to this restaurant called Love's, I don't think it's there anymore, and we used to get a ton of dinners. And we'd drive around in the car looking for homeless people to give them to.
"We used to do it all the time, and just give them food. And one guy said, 'I don't want your stinking food!' And I was like, 'Let's get out of here!' He (Michael) was the one who was driving and I was the one passing out the food. But that's the only time there was any sort of rejection."
Janet Jackson about their youth
"During the tour, on his nights off, he would go into a toy store and buy ten of this and ten of that and then stay up all night long putting batteries into the toys, making certain each and every one worked so that he could have them ready to give to kids backstage the next day. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about”
Seth Riggs,Michael's vocal coach
"...But I will never stop helping and loving people the way Jesus said to."
"Besides the music, this was a man who dedicated his life to healing the human condition. He put his person, time, considerable financial resources and unique artistry on the line every day. He believed; he was never indifferent to human suffering and the record confirms that. Someday the world will finally understand what we had and exactly what we lost."
Layne, a fan of Michael
"One day, I think, I’d like to be a teacher, or a social worker. Anything, really, that involves children....It would be marvelous to be able to help (foster) kids who otherwise would only know poverty and despair in their lives. I guess that’s about the greatest thing you can do, save someone from a bad life and help to give it some meaning."
Michael Jackson in Wiz-Kid interview, 1978
I remember Michael Jackson use to secretly get in a car with a mask & would ride around town & find homeless people to feed. He loved that!— Keya Morgan (@KeyaMorgan) March 25, 2012
"I’m saying heal the planet; heal the world, save our children, save the forest. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?"
"I’m very concerned about the plight of the international global warming phenomenon. I knew it was coming, but I wish they would have gotten people’s interest sooner. But it’s never too late. It’s been described as a runaway train; if we don’t stop it, we’ll never get it back. So we have to fix it now. That’s what I was trying to do with "Earth Song", "Heal The World", "We Are The World", writing those songs to open up people’s consciousness. I wish people would listen to every word."
"Oh, to think about our planet... Seriously. I mean, how to make it a better planet. The global warming issue is a concern to me very much. Just make the world a better, happier place. It's our home. I'd like to see us do a better job of taking care of it, […] [because I am a father] and I have always felt compassion for the planet. Sometime, (sic) I just start to get emotional. I cry, because I can almost feel the pain in the air. So I put it in words and in song and in dance. I think that is what artistry is. You build up on those things through your artistry.”
Michael Jackson speaking to „Good Morning America” on the phone on how he would have wanted his fans to commemorate his 50th birthday and his feelings on world degradation, 2008
"Caring. And reading the Bible, learning about God, Jesus, love. He said, 'Bring on the children', 'Imitate the children', 'Be like the children' and 'Take care of others.' Take care of old people. And we were raised with those values. Those are very important values and my family and I we were raised with those values and they continue strong in us today."
Michael Jackson, At Large with Geraldo Rivera TV Interview (2005) about the motivation for his relief efforts
"...You give of yourself. You give of your talent, of your ability…The talent that was given to you by the Heavens. That’s why we’re here, to bring a sense of escapism in time of need. And, if you’re a painter, you paint; if you’re a sculptor, you sculpt; if you’re a writer, you write; if you’re a songwriter, you give songs..... You give people some love and some bliss and some escapism, and to show that you truly care from the heart and be there for them. Not just from a distance, but show you really care. You know, take the long mile and be there for them. And that’s what I did, and many others who cared and helped. And it’s an important thing.......It’s a very important song for the world. To give some feeling and some loving and some caring to those people who were thrust into orphanage, or, just within a matter of seconds, they lost their parents and their loved ones, you know?"
Michael Jackson, online audio chat, 2001, on the charity song "What More Can I Give" and the benefit show he did with a host of stars in memory of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City
"I’m not one to sit back and point the finger and say, 'Oh I feel bad for what happened to them'. I want to do something, to give, to help those who lost their parents, who lost their mothers and their fathers. Those are our people. Those are our children. Those are our parents. I want the whole world to sing ("What More Can I Give"), to bring us together as a world, because a song is a mantra, something you repeat over and over. And we need peace, we need giving, we need love, we need unity."
Michael Jackson in “Rolling Stones” magazine, following the ‘01 terrorist attacks in New York, 2001
What More Can I Give / Todo Para Ti
“I just want to go to Yugoslavia to hug every one of those children and tell them I love them. The TV footage just breaks my heart. It’s just horrifying. I have to turn the TV off. I cry every day. But that’s not enough to turn your head and pretend that it doesn’t exist. I wanna fly down there, if I could, I would love to fly and be right there to see and help and do and create… I am giving proceeds from my album to those refugees, for the families. I wrote a song, ‘What More Can I Give’, that I want to put all the stars together […] And I want to give proceeds to the families of Yugoslavia […] I want those people to know I love them, that we all love them. They are my family, my children. They desperately need our money now to help them. We are all doing too much sitting back, and reading and watching TV, saying how awful it is and not actually doing something about it. One thing I didn’t like about the ‘We Are The World’ song that I wrote, I didn’t like the idea, ‘USA For Africa”, it was like, it was discriminating the rest of the world…’cause I’ve asked for the Bee Gees, I asked for other groups [too], ‘Well, they weren’t born here”, I said ‘I don’t care! I just want the world to show that they care!...I think it’s…I mean, I’m not into politics and I don’t talk about it really, but I think it’s totally ignorant. It’s wrong!...To hurt people, to hurt innocent children over some political issue? I think it’s genocide, it’s wrong. Ethnic cleansing? It’s ignorant. Ethnic cleansing? That’s ignorant. It’s stupid.”
Michael Jackson in “The Daily Mirror” magazine interview about the 1999 events in Kosovo and his fundraising project associated with it
They Don´t Care About Us
(OLODUM written on michael's chest is a shorter Brazilian/Bahia version of a West African Yoruba word for God - OLODUMARE)
All The World
Must Come Together
Face The Problems
That We See
Then Maybe Somehow We Can Work It Out
I Asked My Neighbor
For A Favor
She Said Later
What Has Come Of
All The People
Have We Lost Love
Of What It's About
I Have To Find My Peace Cuz
No One Seems To Let Me Be
False Prophets Cry Of Doom
What Are The Possibilities
I Told My Brother
There'll Be Problems,
Times And Tears For Fears,
We Must Live Each Day
Like It's The Last
Go With It
Go With It
It Ain't Too Much Stuff
It Ain't Too Much
It Ain't Too Much For Me To...
The World Keeps Changing
Predictions Fly Of Doom
The Baby Boom
Has Come Of Age
We'll Work It Out
I Told My Brothers
Don't You Ask Me
For No Favors
I'm Conditioned By
Don't You Talk To Me
Don't Scream And Shout
She Pray To God, To Buddha
Then She Sings A
Do We Know Right
I Just Want You To
In The Temple
You Can't Hurt Me
I Found Peace
Go With It
Go With It
It Ain't Too Much Stuff
It Ain't Too Much
It Ain't Too Much For Me To
Michael Jackson in his song "Jam""
We´ve Had Enough (a fanmade video)
Ignorance of people purchasing diamonds and necklaces,
And barely able to keep the payments up on their lessons,
And enrolled in a class and don't know who the professor is,
How low people go for the dough and make a mess of things,
Kids are murdering other kids for the fun of it,
Instead of using their mind or their fist, they put a gun in it
Wanna be a part of a clique, don't know who's running it,
Tragedy on top of tragedy you know it's killing me.
So many people in agony, this shouldn't have to be,
Too busy focusing on ourselves and not His Majesty,
There has to be some type of change for this day and age,
We gotta rearrange and flip the page,
Living encaged like animals and cannibals,
Eating each other alive just to survive the nine to five,
Every single day is trouble while we struggle and strive
Peace of mind's so hard to find.
I wanna shout, throw my hands up and shout
What's this madness all about
All this makes me wanna shout
You know it makes me wanna shout,
Throw my hands up and shout
What's this madness all about
All this makes me wanna shout, c'mon now
Problems, complications and accusations
Dividing the nations and races of empty faces
A war is taking place.
No substitution for restitution, the only solution for peace
Is increasing the height of your spirituality.
Masses of minds are shrouded, clouded visions
Deceptions and indecision, no faith or religion, how we're living.
The clock is ticking, the end is coming, there'll be no warning,
But we live to see the dawn.
How can we preach, when all we make this world to be
Is a living hell torturing our minds.
We all must unite, to turn darkness to light,
And the love in our hearts will shine.
We're disconnected from love, we're disrespecting each other
Whatever happened to protecting each other
Poisoned your body and your soul for a minute of pleasure,
But the damage that you've done is gonna last forever.
Babies being born in the world already drug addicted and afflicted,
Family values are contradicted.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, the pressure is building and I've had enough.
I wanna shout...
Michael Jackson in his song Shout
"It almost sounds crazy to say that the show wasn't about him, but ... he'd put it in perspective all the time, saying, 'This is what we're here for, to spread a message of love and taking care of the planet, that we want people to understand it's very, very dear and not to take it for granted."
Dorian Holley, the vocal director for Jackson's upcoming tour This Is It
"Let's be grateful to God that he sent us such an angel to live amongst us for a while and let us not be indifferent to the wrongs we see around us. If Michael ever wanted us to do one thing that would make him happy as he looks down over us today, it would be not to turn away from the victims of oppression and aggression and if in doubt about ever knowing what or how to act....just think: 'What Would Michael Do?' "
Segment of a speech by Dr. Patrick Treacy