the pursuit of quality in a fleeting life

the man in the mirror

Yesterday, after lunch, the world (I guess just those in the PST) went back to work, logged onto, and found out that it had lost a legend – the one and only Michael Jackson (MJ).

Over the course of yesterday and today, I was audience to the many instances this legend has touched in the lives of so many people.

For me, my experience with MJ was on a church floor in the Southern California mountains at a Confirmation retreat in 2003.  It was a docile self-examination exercise that involved various popular, secular songs and a small journal.  The only song I could remember from that exercise was one by MJ.

A thoughtful song about a man who sees the world as an imperfect place in need of change. However, instead of trying to change the whole world, he begins with the place that is closest to him – The Man in the Mirror.

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that change.”

(Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror”)

This is such an amazing song that touches so closely to my heart because it deeply resembles the struggle for me as an individual and a Christian.  MJ reminds me that we can only effect positive change in the world if we are positively changing ourselves to be good people as well.  There are so many flaws that I carry and so many harmful habits that I partake in; therefore, what good am I to the world if I do not change myself first?  I may not save the world from hunger and pain, but I can start by being true to myself and who I am.

In the wake of an inspirational man’s passing, let’s look to his deep and profounds words to “make the world a better place” by “starting with the man in the mirror.”

RIP Michael Jackson.


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