Today, the world says a final farewell to Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.  I was a teen in the 80’s and therefore was an MJ fan for much of junior high school.  I am saddened by his passing and feel especially bad for his family.

Thinking about the memorial service that was held this afternoon (and that I’ll have to catch the third time around at 7 pm on CNN this evening), there are two main points I’d like to share in this post…

Point #1:  Let’s focus on the good things that Michael did while he was still with us, instead of the spectacle that was made of his life in the last decade.

Did you know that in 2000 he was listed in the Guiness World Book of Records for “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star”?  As of 2000, MJ had donated or given in-kind to 39 charities.  This number does not include the charities he has supported through his Heal the World Foundation, which he founded in 1992.  This website has a fascinating timeline of his charity work for the last two decades:  http://www.jacksonaction.com/?page=charity.htm.

In addition, who could ever forget “We Are the World,” co-authored by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie?  A powerful song and great video featuring 44 artists of the time raising money to combat starvation in Africa.

Point #2:  It’s easy to take people we love for granted and assume that they will always be there.  Who would have thought the King of Pop would die at age 50?  Not me.  Not millions of other people around the globe.

Go home tonight, and kiss or hug your husband/wife/mother/father/daughter/son/friend/partner, and let them know that they are loved and appreciated.  It’s so easy for us to become busy and miss the opportunity to love those around us simply because we think (assume) we will have time later.

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