Inner Michael » The Measure of a Man: A word about character

The Measure of a Man: A word about character

 How do you determine the true measure of a man? What are the clues? What speaks to us most of the character of a person? Certainly it is not what someone else writes or says about them? What someone writes about them or reports about them is at a minimum at least one step removed, if not many, from the real. Just as a painting is not the real, but a likeness or representation of the real, depictions painted of people are not truth. The words spoken by another many times removed are just words, just opinions. The painting of a thing emerges from the colors and brushstrokes of the artist, not those of the painting’s subject. The painting is not the essence. The scribe’s slant will always find its way into the scroll for the two—scribe and scroll are not, and cannot be, separated.

Better to go yourself to the source, place your finger on the pulse and your hand on the heart. Breathe the same air, look at the same landscape, walk a time in those moccasins. Stand in the essence and especially in the inventions of a life to know the mind of the one who created them.

Better to read or listen to the words of the individual himself than to others speaking about him… to get the nuances, the essence, read the voice inflection, hear the tone and timbre all the while reading the face, the mouth, the language the body speaks and its congruency. Better to see the eyes for where and how they glance and dance and sparkle.

When the spirit of one is engaged, it knows the spirit of the other. Spirit meets spirit; soul meets soul. One is known by what is important to their heart, and how they feel about what their life encounters. Know the man by knowing the man’s life. As they move through life, what do they leave in their wake? Spent shells of people? Broken bodies? Shattered and abandoned dreams? Destruction and disappointment? Or do they love well and leave better people behind their footfalls, the world a better place for their having passed that way?

Who surrounds them? Who remains and who departs? From whom do they receive praise? By whom are they embraced? By what claims and kudos are they remembered? Who forms their circle? Whom do they admire? Whom do they emulate? Whose company do they keep? What affirmations of self do they leave for evidence? What objects surround them? What books fill their library? What art graces their walls? Does it speak of inspirations and aspirations? Of better tomorrows?

To know the man, know his landscape. Know his real friends. Know where he is loyal. Know his heart by what he holds dear, what he stands up for, what he gets angry about, what his heart embraces as important, as priority. Watch how and where he wields his influence, what he does for others, and what measure he gives back because of what he has received. Observe how he carries himself in the face of fortune and how he holds himself up within shadow and sorrow. Observe how style, dignity, mirth and grace inform his world. A man’s character is revealed in the acts he engages in and who he is being in navigating the world in every moment. Know what he is doing with his one wild and precious life; for in spending time in his pursuits, he is also spending life.

Who was Michael Jackson? What of his true character? What was the measure of this man? Meet the real Michael Jackson in his work, his films, his writings, his philanthropy, his artwork that depicted whom he admired and to what he aspired, his dreams, his accomplishments, his aspirations; know him in his body of work.

In Michael’s writing is where we meet intimately, Michael the idealist, the dreamer, someone capable of deep reflection and deep commitment. We discover someone who is connected with the world and with his relationship to the world on a very profound level. We learn about someone who is introspective and sensitive and respectful, who finds the Divine lurking everywhere. We can know his character and meet the real Michael in the messages, magic and mystery that he was hiding—in plain sight.

Here are a couple of few clues from Michael’s book Dancing the Dream:                                                   

“Enough for Today”

Dance rehearsals can go on past midnight, but this time I stopped at ten. “I hope you don’t mind,” I said, looking up into space, “but that’s enough for today.”

A voice from the control room spoke, “You Okay?”

“A little tired, I guess,” I said.

I slipped on a windbreaker and headed down the hall. Running footsteps came up behind me. I was pretty sure who they belonged to. “I know you too well,” she said, catching up with me.” “What’s really wrong?”

I hesitated. “Well, I don’t know how this sounds, but I saw a picture today in the papers. A dolphin had drowned in a fishing net. From the way its body was tangled in the lines, you could read so much agony. Its eyes were vacant, yes there was still that smile, the one dolphins never lose, even when they die…” My voice trailed off.

She put her hand lightly in mine. “I know. I know.”

“No, you don’t know all of it yet. It’s not just that I felt sad, or had to face the fact that an innocent being had died. Dolphins love to dance—of all the creatures in the sea, that’s their mark. Asking nothing from us, they cavort in the waves while we marvel. They race ahead of ships, not to get there first but to tell us, ‘It’s all meant to be play. Keep to your course, but dance while you do it.’

“So there I was, in the middle of rehearsal, and I thought. ‘They’re killing a dance.’ And then it seemed only right to stop. I can’t keep the dance from being killed, but at least I can pause in memory, as one dancer to another. Does that make any sense?”

Her eyes were tender. “Sure in its way. Probably we’ll wait years before everyone agrees on how to solve this thing. So many interests are involved. But it’s too frustrating waiting for improvements tomorrow. Your heart wanted to have its say now.”

“Yes,” I said, pushing the door open for her. “I just had this feeling, and that’s enough for today.” *

And another glimpse into the measure of the man:

“But the Heart Said No”

“They saw the poor living in cardboard shacks, so they knocked the shacks down and built projects. Huge blocks of cement and glass towered over asphalt parking lots. Somehow it wasn’t much like home. Even home in a shack. “What do you expect?” they asked impatiently. “You’re too poor to live like us until you can do better for yourselves, you should be grateful, shouldn’t you?”
The head said yes, but the heart said no.

“They needed more electricity in the city, so they found a mountain stream to dam. As the waters rose, dead rabbits and deer floated by: baby birds too young to fly drowned in the nest while mother birds cried helplessly. ”It’s not a pretty sight,“ they said, “but now a million people can run their air conditioners all summer. That’s more important than one mountain stream, isn’t it?”
The head said yes, but the heart said no.

“They saw oppression and terrorism in a far-off land, so they made war against it. Bombs reduced the country to rubble. Its population cowered in fear, and every day more villagers were buried in rough wooden coffins. “You have to be prepared to make sacrifices,” they said. “If some innocent bystanders get hurt, isn’t that just the price one must pay for peace?”
The head said yes, but the heart said no.

“The years rolled by and they got old. Sitting in their comfortable houses, they took stock. “We’ve had a good life,” they said, “and we did the right thing.” Their children looked down and asked why poverty, pollution and war were still unsolved. “You’ll find out soon enough,” they replied. “Human beings are weak and selfish. Despite our best efforts, these problems will never really end.”
The head said yes, but the children looked into their hearts and whispered, “No!” *

*Excerpts from Dancing the Dream © 1992 by Michael Jackson


  1. Andreia AndyBrasil said . . .


    Posted February 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  2. Gerri said . . .

    I just received my copy of 'Dancing the Dream' from Amazon-UK. The poems in the book are so powerful, I find I can only read one of them at a time. It takes me hours to spiritually and emotionally digest his words – so dense with meaning and love.

    Posted February 27, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink
  3. MORPHINE said . . .

    My King is my favourite poet…. This Man is the art itself. I’m not reffering here to only one kind of art but to ART in it’s entirety.

    Posted March 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink
  4. Dalia said . . .

    What have we in common to see what others do not see in relation to this man? I mean, you describe Michael with a clarity and perfection that is evident. The information is there for whoever wants to see, we are dazzled by his spiritual beauty, quite hidden by the media. Maybe that this is not what I should be looking for when trying to claim him in the eyes of others? I could be wrong because he doesn’t need to be claimed, maybe I should forget about that part of the claim and advocate to follow his example in terms of human quality.

    Posted September 21, 2010 at 3:02 am | Permalink
  5. admin said . . .

    Dalia, you do not claim, Michael claims. He claims those who resonate with his message. You cannot see in another something that doesn’t live in you. That is the mirror. ~Rev. B.

    Posted September 21, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink

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