Paris teaches us a lesson.

Like much of the world, I tuned in yesterday to watch Michael Jackson’s memorial at the Staples Center.  In all honesty, I was actually quite impressed with the respect and sincerity in which he was “sent off,” despite the rumors from the press that such things like a parade of elephants would also be appearing.

I remember as a kid, growing up in the 80’s, trading Michael Jackson ‘baseball-cards’ with friends, watching Thriller on TV, and even attempting to do the moonwalk at dances.  Alas, I was no Michael Jackson – nor did I want to be – but I loved how the man could write music.

Then it started.  Newspapers and news channels carried the same stories, “Jackson has been charged with molesting kids.”  Even some started calling him, ‘Wacko-Jacko’.  I will admit, I was caught up in the whirlwind of accusations, and even wrote Jackson off as a child-molester who just needed to go away.  I re-told the jokes, I believed some of the stories, and I even started turning the dials when his face (his music) came on.

In fact, truth be told, I reacted this way up until yesterday, when GOD sort of re-focused my attention onto something bigger that was occurring.

Paris Jackson, Michael’s daughter, spoke after everything was finished.  Her words, and her face, still cause me to come back into reality.  If, by chance, you missed her message, below is what she said (as seen on TIME):

“I just wanted to say, ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine,” she said. “And I just wanted to say I love him so much.”

Let me first say this, before going into what I really want to say here.  I am not trying to erase the past; nor am I trying to fight for Michael to get his face stamped.  I am not going to pull on of those ‘leave-Brittany-alone-moments’; nor am I jumping onto the ‘Michael Jackson fan band-wagon’.

Instead, I want to challenge everyone to re-focus his or her attention on something that GOD has laid on my heart to share – and focus on.  Despite all the accusations and “weirdness” of Jackson, you have to admit the man was a musical genesis.  On top of that, he was a great humanitarian – as Congresswoman Jackson-Lee so (politically) told us yesterday during her “visit” to the Memorial.

Though, even beyond all of that, lest we forget that Jackson was a father.  I am not saying that he always did the right things with them, but then again, he tried his best to always put his kids first.  Let’s face it, every parent has his or her flaws that seldom get publicized as Jackson’s faults have.  (And thank GOD, right?)  So why have we forgotten that maybe, just maybe, to his kids, Jackson was the world and their hero?  Why have we dismissed the fact that three (more) kids are now going to grow up fatherless, along with hundreds of other kids in this world?

Not to be cliché, but, have we thought of the children?  As the TIME article writer states, “… Paris’ words made it abundantly clear that Jackson — a controversial subject in life and in death — was also someone’s beloved father.”

Maybe for their sake, we (the world and it’s press) need to step back, allow his family to grieve, and show his kids the truth: “Your dad wasn’t half bad actually.  In fact, he wasn’t ‘Wacko-Jacko’ … he was a man who was hard pressed by the world to be something he wasn’t.  Your dad tried.  Through it all, though, we know he loved you.  I’m sorry for your loss.”  Or something along those lines.

It’s the least we could do.

So let’s stop the congressional fighting, the tabloid headlines, the lies, jokes, rumors, and off-color comments about Jackson.  Let the man rest in peace.  Let his kids remember their dad the only way though know how – which none of us has the right to distort or interpret.

As JESUS once suggested, “treat others as you would want to be treated”; so put yourself in Prince, Paris, and Prince Jr’s shoes – imagine if your father passed away and people were just kept talking/debating about him as if nothing had happened – how would you feel?

Now, go and do likewise.

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