Saturday, 27 June 2009

Michael Jackson looked up to Gandhi for inspiration

In his much-publicised speech at Oxford Union in 2001, Michael Jackson concluded with the thought of Mahatma Gandhi. The speech ‘Heal the Kids’ was his rare personal account in which he spoke about his own childhood and the reasons why chose to make public his hopes for future generations.

‘‘You probably weren’t surprised to hear that I did not have an idyllic childhood. The strain and tension that existed with my own father is well documented’’ MJ said.

He describe his father as a ‘‘taciturn task-master’’ who wouldn’t show emotion because of his own upbringing. And, Jackson says, he did not want his own children to judge him similarly.

Concluding the speech, he quoted Gandhi: ‘‘To all of you tonight who feel let down by your parents, I ask you to let down your disappointment. To all of you tonight who feel cheated by your fathers or mothers, I ask you not to cheat yourself further. And to all of you who wish to push your parents away, I ask you to extend your hand to them instead. I am asking you, I am asking myself, to give our parents the gift of unconditional love, so that they too may learn how to love from us, their children. So that love will finally be restored to a desolate and lonely world....Mahatma Gandhi said: The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong’’.

Jackson also used footage of Gandhi in his much-acclaimed chartbuster ‘Man in the Mirror’. The video featured footage of famous people, who have endeavoured to ‘make that change’ including Martin Luther king, Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi.

Source: TOI