Michael Jackson’s Death Almost Inevitable

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Michael Jackson, an American icon, the King of Pop, and one of the most recognized names in the world is dead at 50 years old.  His death was almost inevitable.  A lifestyle that included an obsession with fame, fortune, wealth, and a lust for living and having it all.  His life was marred with ugly rumors and one disaster after another.  He was clearly one of the unhappiest people on the planet, yet Americans flock after his image with an intensity and a childlike foolishness that is almost astonishing.

Why?  What was it that made millions of people go gaga over Michael Jackson?  I don’t think it was the man at all.  Was he talented?  Absolutely. Was he an extraordinary entertainer?  Obviously.  But he was just a man.  I think pople went gaga because he represented something they lust after.  He represented an image of something that Americans want with a lust that is the great American obsession:  fame and fortune.

Americans, and many around the world, are convinced that wealth and recognition will bring the ultimate happiness and fulfillment in life.  This belief is steadfast and deeply rooted in American tradition.  Michael Jackson pursued these things with a vengence, and he became one of the lonliest and saddest men on earth.

The following is taken by permission from the book, Success and Eternity, by Chuck Marunde.

We have created an entire society built upon the worship of individual success and achievement.  Success and achievement are admittedly subjective, but are automatically assumed when one or more of the six forms of worldly success are evident.  Conclusive proof of success includes physical beauty, political power, business influence, religious power, material wealth, and fame.  Fame can come through any one of these, but it comes most commonly to movie actors, musicians, politicians, and athletes.

Physical beauty alone does not guarantee success, but it is a vital factor in the world’s success formula.  Unfortunately, we live in a society that basically teaches women and men, “If you are going to be successful and have the life you’ve dreamed of having, you must be willing to pay the price, to do whatever it takes.”  And so they do.  Some become rich and famous by selling their souls, but most sell their souls for a fantasy that never does come true.  A few out of millions win the lottery of fame and fortune, but most are destined for disillusionment.

Because our definition of success and achievement is based entirely on one or more of these six proofs of success, we arrive at a definition of success that boils down to the three biggies:  sex, money, and power.  If one has enough money, the other two can be bought.  Money can even buy fame.  By these standards the most “successful” people in America today include famous Hollywood actors, super models, musicians, star athletes, politicians, and super wealthy businessmen.  These icons must uphold an image of success that is based almost entirely on sex, money, or power.  Their fame depends upon this image.

Michael Jackson’s death is sad.  It’s a tragedy.  But the greatest tragedy of all is that millions of people think Michael’s life represented all that is good.  It didn’t.  Michael Jackson’s life and his death teach us again that life is not about money, sex, and fame.

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