In order to get close enough to the microphone when recording songs, the child Michael stood atop an apple box. From this elevated position, he conveyed a supernaturally precocious ability for perfectly expressing the joy of romantic love.
The paradox of Michael’s back-catalogue is that the themes present in his childhood material (having been written by adults) were mature beyond his years, whilst the ideas he explored in his self-penned adult work were more akin to those that would inspire a child.
The silent pilot light of achieving one’s aspirations flickers persistently throughout an entire lifetime, despite the cynicism of society relentlessly attempting to extinguish the flame. This self-sabotaging phenomenon is fuelled by a ubiquitous misbelief amongst the embittered of their having missed their own opportunities to fulfil their dreams. This byproduct of envy is not the fault of those afflicted, however: more a logical consequence of the inherent difficulty in leaping over the ego and reacquainting themselves with the indomitable optimism embodied by their inner child.
Fortunate people are blessed with having had faith instilled with themselves. This fortune is derived from the quality of being elucidated recipients of unconditional love and support. The peerless strength that comes with possessing an innate knowledge of being loved is what imbues the requisite confidence and courage vital for remaining stoic when actively advocating the validity of one’s intuited belief system, regardless of the bombardment of a sneering society.
Due to its presence on a posthumous poster, there is one quote from Michael that has become particularly prominent:
“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.”
This common-sense philosophy formed the crux of the theme of his speech at the 2001 Oxford Address, which Michael gave to promote his Heal The Kids initiative:
“Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness must be that each and every one of us is an object of love… before you know if you have red hair or brown… before you know if you are black or white… before you know what religion you are a part of… you have to know that you are loved.”
Michael divulged that hide-and-seek was one of his favourite games to play. He references it in his poem, Are You Listening?
“In infinite expressions I come and go / Playing hide-and-seek / In the twinkling of an eye / But immortality’s my game.”
This mention of immortality is an important one. The fuel for Michael’s success was a steadfast faith in its resultant fame enabling him to influence society’s perspective on the role of children in humanity’s spiritual progression. Michael’s unwavering message was that each and every baby born is a clean slate; a chance for humanity to achieve charitable greatness. In spite of the surfeit of record-smashing, culture-shaping career accolades Michael acquired, his only wish was to be remembered as an advocate for the children of the world. In the very month of his death, he said,
“That’s what I’ll be remembered for – not for what I did on stage, but for what I did for the children.”
And in the same way Michael strived to defend the rights of children and promulgate the idea of the global resourcing of their innate genius, he felt that children were there to redeem him also,
“I want to be buried right where there are children. I want them next to me. I would feel safer that way. I want them next to me. I need their spirit protecting me.”
The author F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, “Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.” Michael is this musing made manifest.
As a child, Michael could merely imagine what romantic love was like, yet he managed to relay its emotions with visceral conviction. His song With A Child’s Heart is advice on attempting to assuage the tumultuousness of life by approaching each day with the carefree attitude of a child. Contrasted with his other childhood songs in which he effortlessly expresses the euphoria of adult love, the song With A Child’s Heart anomalously drips with the palpable pain of his awareness of the tragic irony contained in the words he is singing.
People query Michael’s choice to spend his time in the company of children, without ever questioning the reason why millions of people sought to seek his presence when he was a child. As well as whilst he remained childlike as an adult. Michael saw more individual human beings than anyone else that has ever existed. Because they flocked in their hundreds of millions to go and see him.
The pilot light of aspiration persists until a person’s dying day. During a lifetime, there are intermittent instances of inhaling breaths of inspiration that when exhaled potentiate the luminescence of the flame. As an enlightened entity of being loved, a person is accordingly bestowed with the self-belief that is required for the courage to follow the flame.
We have arrived at such an instance. As Michael’s fans, every single one of us is loved unconditionally (let’s call it an occupational perk). Ergo, our collective inhalation of inspired breath, upon being exhaled, carries the necessary potency to combust Michael’s pilot light dream of a universally recognised reverence for childhood, into an incendiary and revolutionary reality.
During the Oxford Address, Michael noted that there are days dedicated to the celebration of mothers and fathers – yet none to honour their children. I cannot think of a more apt or poignant tribute to Michael’s legacy than for his fans to petition for and achieve the official establishment of August 29th as International Children’s Day.
The campaign to make this happen has commenced. Support the manifestation of Michael’s dream by going here: