Some time ago I said to a friend that I wished we’d had ‘Earth Song’ when I was active in Greenpeace (1979-1984). We had songs by Country Joe McDonald* and others in the counter-culture and protest movement which we would pipe over loudspeakers at rallies etc.
But no-one who grabbed the attention of the general public and mass media like Michael Jackson had done anything as obvious or passionate in its message as his heartfelt plea to God and humanity to take care of each other and the planet.
When I fell in love with “Earth Song” I’d thought my days of environmental activism were over – granted I wasn’t about to stand in front of any bulldozers these days; but Michael spurred me into using the facilities available to most of us to make my opinion (and sometimes my vote) count on an international level – via the internet.
Whether it’s by taking part in some fan-initiated projects to give donations in Michael’s name to major aid organisations (e.g. Team Michael for Haiti-UNICEF) buy trees to reforest the planet (A Million Trees for Michael), gift giving to disadvantaged children (Michael’s Angels for Michael’s Children) and many others, so many options have presented themselves since Michael’s passing.**
We may ask ourselves why it took his death for us to heed his words? Of course, in some cases it didn’t; some fans have been putting his message into practice all along. As for the rest of us, well, better we act now, in honour of Michael’s life and in celebration of his humanitarianism, than not at all.
Giving, acting or just adding our names to appropriate on-line petitions as Michael Jackson fans is also a worthy way of letting others know the true legacy of the man who continues to inspire us through his music and his example.
Just enjoying and sharing his music is another way of introducing others to Michael’s humanitarian and environmental message. Maybe they too will heed his pleas and act to ‘Make that Change.” Let’s hope so.
Originally published 3 April 2012 Wordpress edition published 2 July 2016. Edited 9 October 2017.
** NB: Some of these groups are no longer active or have achieved their original aims. These days there are many more groups fundraising for charities in Michael’s name all around the world. The one I am most active in is www.mjffc.org.uk and another I support is http://www.michaeljacksonslegacy.org/
[First published in www.megaheart4mj.com Forum April 1st, 2012]
[Republished on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/notes/kerry-hennigan/do-we-give-a-damn-michael-jacksons-earth-song-message-on-a-personal-level/332109693513887]