Inner Michael » Raise Your Voice and take action!

Raise Your Voice and take action!

Hundreds of emails tell me about the regret people hold because they were ignorant of, or did nothing about what the headlines did to Michael Jackson all his life. They have grave regrets. Me too. They know that Lady Diana was killed while being chased by paparazzi and they are sick about it but they don’t know what to do… they feel helpless. Yeah, me too.

Until now.

Now I feel empowered.

I feel empowered because I know there are many out there like me who want the slamming and slaying of our artists and global humanitarians to stop. We had global messengers like Michael and Diana and we have some left like Willie Nelson and Bono. But don’t think for one minute they too wouldn’t become targets or fall from grace and be dismembered in the tabloids given one misstep or one horrific accusation no matter how false or how extortionist. I hear from many who want to stop this slaughter with words. They are tired of the juicy stories where the “juice” that is spilled in those stories is somebody’s blood.

I feel empowered because somebody who cares about this world and peace and humanity listened to me.

When I wrote to Voices Education Project and told them of my concerns and pitched my story about these weapons called words, they offered to publish it. When I told them it was about Michael Jackson who can be a lightning rod for all kinds of things, they never even blinked. They asked me to write the story for Playback— a tribute to him. And when I told them I thought we needed a curriculum for students and children to inform them of about the harm of this weapon, they didn’t miss a beat— in fact in a heartbeat, they invited me to write it with them. That is courage. That is humanity. That is caring about this world. That is about making it a better place.

That is powerful. That is Voices.

There is a magnetic power in that kind of courage. With that kind of courage you can have fear and trepidation but do it anyway. You do it because it’s the right thing to do. You do it because to not do it would be even more terrible. You do it because it haunts you.

Because you can’t not do it.

So here we are in the delivery room nine months after this pregnant idea and the baby has just been birthed. It’s breathing. It lives. And it’s a beautiful child. A beautiful creation. But this child needs to be nourished to grow and encouraged through its life and parented with love and guidance. The child is here now and we know from Mr. Michael Jackson that it takes a village to raise a child. He lived his life as that one-man village. How alone he must have felt fighting the tide of apathy and trying to teach empathy! I wish I had been more attentive. I wish I had been there for him and for Diana and all the others who have suffered intractable permanent harm inflicted by the irresponsible use of words.

Michael and Diana are gone. But their memories aren’t. And neither are their legacies. We are that legacy. Michael Jackson fans know what I am talking about. They know the real story and they know the real man. Then knew him to be someone kind and generous and not at all the caricature painted in words with irresponsible pens. They don’t know him as just a Pop Star. They know him as a global humanitarian, a peacemaker and someone who was a cheerleader for humanity saying “I believe in us.” He asked us to “save the children, heal the world and save the planet.” He gave his life to and for that message, and he died trying to remind us of it one last time.

This is it? Michael Jackson fans suffer much at the hands of those who continue to call them crazy and crazed because they got his message and live in anguish because of how he, and they are characterized. Yes, some fans carry things too far but it’s easy to see why—they are weary; and can you blame them?

I am going to ask for something from them though, and from all his admirers and those who admire Diana. I am going to ask you to stop using your words to harm. I want you to take your anger and use the energy to create the solution, not add to the problem. I want you to inform not indict. I want you to try to do it civilly to prove that you are civil. It’s what Michael was all about. And believe me, I know what I am asking because I know how hard it is after decades of hearing the same old party line invented by the tabloids, you are weary. It gets old, doesn’t it? And you are angry. I get that angry too and I have slipped up. But we don’t change things for the better by attacking. When we attack, we create war.

So here is what I want you to do: I want you to start a movement with me and with Voices. I want you stop and not declare war on the media. I want you to declare peace on the media. And I want you to do it the Michael way. Let them know that you no longer want them to print that stuff. You want them to be grownups now and use their words wisely and with responsibility. You want them to demonstrate to the children of this world that it is no longer fashionable to hunt and harm and damage people and even kill in the name of profit and “entertainment.”

Tell them that the childishness is over and you expect them to be grownups now. And you expect them to be good world citizens and role models for youth- encouraging youth to share their god-given talents with the world knowing that they will be safe and not ridiculed. Tell them that “we want a world where peoples’ woundedness is cradled with tenderness not exposed with glee.”

Let them know that you want them to show the children of tomorrow that it is OK to become talented and brilliant and famous, to shine their unique light on a world that has become far too dark. That it is safe to use god-given talent to change the world and make it a better place. Show them that the cynicism is so last century and you are now ready and want to be a humanitarian and human advocacy. You are ready now to showcase brilliance and hope for a better world and you want them to listen.

If you want to know how that works, watch the video. Then go to Voices Education Project and take a look at the new curriculum “Words and Violence.” Feel the power in what is there. Feel the power in lending your voice to a new movement for a more humane narrative (the telling of human ‘story’) on this planet.

Then spread the word. (Facebook, Twitter and more ways.) Use your Voice to help Voices and the collective voice of humanity. Join the movement: Use your unique talent, your voice, your brilliance. Do not declare war on the media… Declare peace on the media. Declare peace with words—yours and theirs. It’s the Michael thing to do.


  1. Dalia said . . .

    As Gandhi set up his peaceful movement into a war with no weapons and aggression, we must speak out peacefully to demand they stop hurting people to go through this dirty business of tabloids, but primarily to those we should ask is that consumers of the “merchandise.” the general public who buys the lies doing something profitable of this “business.” The younger generation is where we need to grow this feeling of respect for others, and this project is wonderfully encouraging. We can not give up because Michael did not; he had faith in us and we are his army and as such we must work to make that change that he always believed in. As the saying goes: a drop of water can pierce a stone much better than the force of a bullet; each one of us are the Michael’s hope and that is our commitment. Thanks Barbara for your enthusiasm and your faith in your projects that Michael would have loved, are great, and we must pull them from theory to practice.

    Posted September 13, 2010 at 4:26 am | Permalink
  2. Cassie said . . .

    This is something I really believe I can do. I love words. I know the way words are chosen has the ability to either produce or reduce depending on how you say them. Thank you again for this wonderful, insightful message. It only proves further that it is many times the little things that make the biggest difference.

    Posted September 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink
  3. Karen said . . .


    At “A Place in your Heart” radio I downloaded the conversation Rev. Barbara did and immediately I wanted to visit this site to learn more. I have to print the articles to read later but in the meantime I just wanted to thank you for doing what you do and sharing it with all of us.

    Posted September 30, 2010 at 5:49 am | Permalink

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