I enjoy writing but when it comes to blogging, lately, I’ve become reserved about putting my thoughts out in the world. I am a sensitive person who cares deeply for people and is moved by ideas and situations perhaps a bit more than the average person. For instance, last night I was treated to the Michael Jackson One Cirque due Soleil tribute show. It was fantastic and I cried through half of it. Now, I’m not a huge Michael Jackson fan, but the imagery, choreography, music, and videos, touched me deeply. In an effort to make sense of myself and connect with more people, I’m taking on a self-imposed 30-day blog challenge, not inspired by last night’s show, but more as an effort to break out of this hold.
I don’t think I lead a very interesting life, but sometimes when I experience something like this show last night, I have impressions and thoughts that I want to put down on paper. Usually when I do this, I start to unravel something for myself and these next 30 days should prove curious. Blog length doesn’t matter. I’m simply going to write something every day for the next 30.
To start, I’m embarrassed when I cry in movie theatres or at shows like Michael Jackson. I always wonder if my companion is embarrassed by this as well. I’ve never asked. Sometimes I’ve been made fun of for this, and I’m guessing in hind sight it’s because the tears made the person uncomfortable. Try as I might to choke the tears back, they simply stream down my face from time to time.
Last night when it happened, I got curious. What was going through my mind at that moment and what was happening on stage. It was young Michael singing “I’ll be there.” Perhaps it’s because Michael Jackson was a singer in my era, a signature icon of my time, that the lyrics and emotional connection the song brought back must have had some tie into my youth.
There was the flashback of a friend in school who loved his music. Another flashback to the house on 34th st that I constantly moved in and out from. Finally, there was this awareness of how the paparazzi swarmed on him and how I shy away from the spotlight. And the questions, a stream of questions surrounding the real Michael Jackson. In my altruistic view of him, I saw a dreamer and an entertainer. A black man who thought it was better to be white. A man who was never satisfied with himself, who wanted to cling to the beauty and pureness of youth while at the same time pushing societal boundaries by being bold in his music.
There was a larger than life aspect to the show that when they brought him down to be life-size, made him seem even more real. But he’s gone, he’s not real. And, I became sad for all of these thoughts, impressions and for that reality in particular.
I watch my friends dividing their group into “those that are like me and those that are not” and I’m sad. We are closing our minds and social media has made it possible to think in black and white, zeros and ones. We have forgotten our human connection and or human similarities. The whole concept of this show is “ONE”. And, I was sad that now, more than I have experienced in recent times, we need this reminder.
The show touched on diversity, the very real challenges a person of color faces, as well as the challenges facing Michael directly. It’s not a scene from the past, it’s a scene still playing out today, and this awareness makes me sad. What happened to the “Man In The Mirror?”
“If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change”- Michael Jackson
I see people judging people based on a belief they don’t share and then poking fun at them and unfriending them. The most hurtful thing we can do to ourselves to prevent change is deny ourselves the opportunity for diversity of views and instead rely on our inflated sense of self and reinforce our limited and biased beliefs by surrounding ourselves with only our views. I’m not a perfect person and my views are flawed, but I have been around the world, lived in other cultures, speak different languages, gone back to my heritage to understand my lineage and myself better. I talk to people, but most importantly, I’m trying to listen and learn.
I have opinions and biases, but when I am exposed to opposing views, I have to ask questions. I seek to understand where they are coming from, and why. Even though I am a woman, with Latino and very little Native American ethnicity, I (unlike my siblings) appear more white than not and I know I don’t get the same looks, the same treatment, etc. as my siblings, as a male friend would or another person of color. I get my own share of fair and unfair experiences and you would not know what it’s like without stepping into my shoes; likewise, I must respect this notion about others as well.
We need more faith in our neighbors, friends, comrades, and other humans of other cultures. We need to stop looking for ways to feel self important or to inflate our egos– a bit of humility would go a long way. If it could be possible to see the world through someone else’s eyes, I would wish that on all of us. Change starts with ourselves, but first you must be looking at yourself in the mirror asking the hard questions to know what’s worth changing.
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