Inner Michael » If you care enough for the living… Hurry, there’s not a lot of time left

If you care enough for the living…

Hurry, there’s not a lot of time left

This year our church is embarking on a new initiative at Christmas.

Instead of spending all that money on Christmas presents this year, we are each being asked to spend half the normal amount and to save the other half and contribute it to a fund to alleviate poverty and hunger. Imagine the magnitude of a whole congregation making such a difference in the world…

So, my family, and that includes my grandchildren, will receive half the normal gifts this year with a card that explains what happened to the other half and where it was contributed in their honor.

It is one of the best ways I can demonstrate generosity and humanitarian philanthropy to young and impressionable minds that will on day, I hope, remember to remember others. It is one way I can role model compassion. And pay it forward to the next generation.
And the world could use some more compassion.

Someone asked an important question last week:

Like it or not, this question needs examination…

Do you think if you asked Michael Jackson this question… “What would you choose, Michael? I want to remember you and honor your life.

Would you rather I…
1. Contribute money to buy a sea of flowers to commemorate the day of your death?
2. Spend that money on contributing to a children’s charity?”

“Michael? What would you say?”

“There are people dying. If you care enough for the LIVING make a little space for a better place. Heal the world…”

Rather than buying Michael a rose this year that will make a show for one day and then wither and die, I made a donation in his name to a worldwide movement spreading compassion on the planet. I didn’t think he’d mind.

Other than that, no comment.


  1. Rosalynn said . . .

    Barbara, thanks so much for posting this to encourage votes for Michael’s Dream Boxes in the time-sensitive Ty Pennington contest. Voting continues only through July 8 to determine 6 semi-finalists – all of which will be awarded funds for their project. Currently Michael’s Dream Boxes are in 8th place, so votes are needed!

    I also want to comment about your thoughts about where Michael would spend his money – to a charity or to a “sea of flowers” commemorating his death date. This year’s One Rose For Michael J. Jackson campaign resulted in 15,627 long-stemmed Red Freedom roses being displayed at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, Michael’s final resting place. At $3 per rose, that comes to $46,881.00, a lot of money.

    For the first three years of the One Rose campaign, I had serious misgivings about all that money being squandered (that’s how I felt) on roses that would die and be thrown away in a matter of days. And, in those three years, there were not nearly as many roses purchased for the event, so not nearly as much money spent as has been seen in 2013 and 2014. I still long for the benefit all that money could be bringing to so many children or other worthy causes.

    Beginning in 2013, additions to the campaign’s process have spread Michael’s heart beyond the Forest Lawn display outside Holy Terrace, where his body lies. On June 26th now, roses are taken to the children sections of Forest Lawn and also to several community organizations in the Los Angeles area. There has been somewhat of a domino effect in this sharing on from Michael’s heart. People have seen the roses elsewhere and have continued that gifting across the year, so it has impacted other hearts.

    Personally, I have never contributed to the One Rose campaign. $3 may not sound like a lot but it’s not something I feel able to give, in that way. I do support One Rose, however, as I have come to believe that there is a valid, powerful statement being made through its massive visual display in honor of Michael. One Rose says we miss, respect, honor, and love Michael Jackson – and we are not going away – not one year later, not two years later, not five years later, not ever. That statement brings people to Michael’s heart – people that know him, people that are curious about this man whose network of love is still so strong, people who never paid any attention to Michael during his life but are now finding reasons to want to know Michael’s music and Michael’s heart, people who are so young that this is their first opportunity to be introduced to Michael. It could also be mentioned that growing, harvesting, packaging, and shipping that many roses is providing support to a lot of people working with that whole process. (Not the displaying, of course, which is all done by volunteers out of love for Michael.)

    So, I’m at peace with One Rose For Michael J. Jackson, because I know it serves both Michael’s memory and his heart. Perhaps a shift could be made in the campaign so that the funds could come in but the display could be more, say, paper roses, which would cost much less and then leave a great fund of money to be directed to charitable giving. I’d support that. I’d love that. But I have no say, much less control, in One Rose. I know it is guided from the heart and, if it never changes course, it is still a positive, loving way for people across the globe to demonstrate their love for Michael and to remind the world what he did, does, and always will mean – to our entire world.

    Most of the rose purchasers cannot and never will be able to make the pilgrimage to Forest Lawn, Neverland or any other Michael-connected place, and this gives them a feeling of involvement in and connection to Michael. One Rose may also be a “gateway” for many who, as they grow in their understanding of Michael’s heart, will find their own hearts growing to want to “give” in more effective ways to meet our world’s so many, so serious needs.

    By the way, I love your Christmas giving idea. For 30 years, I’ve abided by “if three gifts, one from each of the Magi, were enough for Jesus, that’s enough for my children” plan, as well as Christmas giving outside my family. Your plan is more specific, dollar-wise, and I like that. It is now going to be my Christmas giving plan, and one that I will share with and encourage of others in my small circle of influence. This is the wonder and delight of Michael’s heart: I posted a “thank-you” to someone who has worked diligently on behalf of the Michael’s Dream Boxes contest effort; she shared the link with me to your post here; I read your post, above, and am posting this comment which will, hopefully, be meaningful to someone else and lead them to feel and do and live in the love for each other that Michael spent his whole life inviting us into.

    In His L.O.V.E.

    Posted July 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  2. Nina Hamilton said . . .

    That is precisely what I did for June 25th; instead of sending five roses for five years, I sent only one and donated money to Michael’s Dream Boxes to go towards building Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital.

    Posted July 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink
  3. Heaven Leigh said . . .

    Dear Rev. Barbara,

    Thank you so much for this insightful post, and for sharing your heart. Thank you also for showing support for Michael’s Dream Boxes project and sharing the video which shows what MDF is truly about, and what they have accomplished so far to brighten children’s lives.

    As Rosalynn so beautifully explained, I too see the love and beauty in giving roses to one so loved and respected as Michael! I in no way meant to infer that I am against this. In my mind, as Rosalynn and Nina wonderfully explain, I envisioned how many children could be fed, how many needy could be clothed, how much medicine it could buy for sick children, and how many toys and smiles it could bring to hospitalized children. This year was the first year that I hoped that maybe fans would match their rose-giving with vote-giving, the latter costing them nothing! I think some genuinely liked this idea.

    Thank you so much to Nina, for your beautiful heart & donation to Michael’s Dream Foundation. Thank you to Rosalynn for the generous work you have put into the Michael’s Dream Boxes voting campaign!

    In early June, after taking red silk flowers to my own father’s grave, I had a bit of an epiphany – people need to honor in whatever way they wish – I could more clearly see both sides. So I reached out to bridge what I thought might be a gap that could be closed.

    I hope that is the answer in the future, as Rosalynn hit on an idea that is certainly finding its time! 🙂 Look for more from MDF on this soon!

    In past years I’ve certainly thought of all of the roses funds as being in one “bucket,” while the “bucket” for charities in Michael’s honor appeared quite empty in comparison. It seems out-of-balance, in relation to Michael’s own message to the world, as you pointed out. I do hope that perhaps a compromise can be found, perhaps a harmonious cooperative effort could create a bridge between the two ways of honoring beautiful Michael.

    Thank you for your inspired Christmas present fund idea as well, dear Barbara. I think it is wonderful to share ideas, learn from each other and be enriched through the process. I feel this is what is meant by “being ONE.”

    Again, I thank you with all my heart,

    Heaven xoxoxox

    Posted July 7, 2014 at 5:23 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *