Just were you, when you got the news that the King of Pop had died. Like millions across the globe, your mind mostly likely was stunned and shocked with disbelief that one of our greatest icons had fallen to the sting of death. Perhaps you paused and prayed, or began to revisit one of his masterful works in your head - or still in disbelief, you hurried to gain true confirmation of the saddened event, via the news, over the internet, or through a close friend or neighbor. In our digital age, news no longer has to travel, for we carry it right in the palms of our hands via PDA's, cell phones and other timely electronic devices.
But however and whenever you gained confirmation, like all of us, the piercing enormity of the artistic and humanitarian contributions made by Michael, the person, the artist and the legend was still too hard for one to comprehend this finality.
On the surface, Michael was like any other human being, subjected to fall short of perfection, because of the daily battle against the negative attributes of life - like fear, pressure, insecurity, frailties, the lack of unconditional love, and the lack of a positive reinforcement community. Simply examine the life of any person, whether they are ordinary or legendary and witness how we are all subjected in varying degrees by these same negative attributes.
Therefore, to make a fair examination of a persons worth and importance, we must peel back or cancel out the negative influences to actually see the greater body of work, which is their brand.
Peel back the negative attributes associated with Michael's life, and you will journey through one of the most legendary figures, in not only American Pop Culture, but the entire Globe. His musical gift was phenomenal, his lyrical phrasing was impeccable, his on stage presence was magical and his imitators will continue for generations. Though often misunderstood, he still gave millions to charity, was inspired to create and deliver significant financial resources from the fruits of the classic "We are the World" as well as, sustaining the fortitude and efficacious drive to cross and bridge the global cultural and ethnic divide that too often hinders us and robs us of our human potential.
Michael put his brand on the line - he was the "Man in the Mirror", he lived "Thriller", he was "Bad" and "The Way He Made Us Feel", will live on forever.
Can you come up with a name or brand from the last 40 years greater than the name of Michael Jackson?
I challenge you to give all to your work, in spite of your shortcomings.
I challenge you to live out your epitaph, every day of your life.
I challenge you to build your personal brand, in all your endeavors.
Let our intimacy and reflections about Michael be surrounded by the passion of his music and not by the vicarious whims of mass media, for the only Michael that vast majority really knows, is the sound of his tender and driving voice in their ear and or his powerful visual presence in concert or on video.
From an interview of Michael by Ebony & Jet Magazine, Michael summed up his legacy and epitaph and how he desires to be remembered as follows - "I give all to my work, because I want it to live." Michael Jackson
Give all to your work, overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way, and achieve your brand, your eternal epitaph.