Earsnag: Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”

What better way to end this year’s Earsnag than with a profoundly meaningful Michael Jackson’s song like “Man in the Mirror?”

Lately, I’ve been trying to think about my actions before execution. I’ve been trying to think about how I use my words and how I treat other people.

What has spawned this inner reflection is sad or awful reports in the media lately that have made my heart sink (I don’t even want to cite specific examples; I see terrible things in the news regularly — stories I wish I hadn’t read about, or news clips I wish I hadn’t watched, whether they be bullies or untimely deaths or otherwise). I would like to turn this negativity into something good.

And MJ’s lyrics fit perfectly with the Matthew 19:19-based lifestyle.

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways.”

I think I need to start with the wo(man) in the mirror if I want to begin eradicating the world’s daily tragedies. I’m trying this out: For every terrible deed done, I do a good one.

A couple of days ago, I downloaded an app called French Girls. The name is based on a scene in Titanic where Rose instructs Jack to draw her like “one of your French girls.”

A brief rundown of how the app works: You take a selfie (funny how Word doesn’t underline that anymore) and somebody in the world draws their depiction of your photo. You’ll never find out who drew it, unless the person signs his or her picture. Or you’re the person drawing somebody else’s selfie.

You can share the drawings on social media, you can “like” the selfie depictions and you own a personal gallery of your drawings and your selfies. Also, there’s a general gallery of everybody’s art (and some of it really is art). It’s pretty neat and totally entertaining.

But as amusing and (mostly) unadulterated as the app is, I read hurtful words and comments about people’s photos on some of the drawings I came across in the mainstream gallery yesterday. And it actually hurt my heart, even though the words weren’t directed toward me, because why? Why do people intentionally hurt others? Is it for personal enjoyment, or attention? It’s sickening, no matter the reason.

It makes me want to cuss; it makes me want to punch a pillow. I hurt for the people who received a “drawing” that said “Ew” or “You’re ugly.” So I morphed my anger into compassion: I wrote comments based on photos that people had submitted too, but instead of disgusting judgments, I wrote things like, “Pretty blue eyes!” or “Cool hair!”

“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.”

Let’s all take a look at ourselves and make some adjustments. I’m no saint, and I never will be. But I am trying to do nicer things for people a little more often. If we all partook in one act of kindness a day, imagine how much the world would improve. We’ll never eliminate all of the world’s bad, but we can certainly add to its good.

Check out The Essential Michael Jackson, available on iTunes.