My Poetry Corner December 2015 features an excerpt from the song “Heal the World,” written and produced by Michael Jackson (1958-2009). Released in 1992, the song soon hit the top charts. During an Internet chat in 2001, Jackson revealed that he was most proud of creating this song.
During the period he composed this song – just like today – there were regions of the world at war: Afghan Civil War (1989-1992), breakup of Yugoslavia (1990-1992), and the Persian Gulf War (1991). With thousands of children wounded, left orphans and homeless as a result of violence worldwide, Jackson’s call to heal our world remains relevant today.
In the opening stanza, Jackson tackles the problem head on. The solution is simple. We can transform our lives when we make room in our hearts for love.
There’s a place in your heart
and I know that it is love
and this place could be
much brighter than tomorrow.
In contrast to the numerous dystopian works of fiction bombarding us these days on movie screens, Jackson envisages a utopian future. Imagine a world with no hurt or sorrow.
And if you really try
you’ll find there’s no need to cry
In this place you’ll feel
there’s no hurt or sorrow.
A better world for our children is within our reach. All we have to do is to care for each other. Love is caring.
There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
make a little space
make a better place…
This is a powerful stanza. Jackson doesn’t merely say that we should care for each other. We have to care enough for the living. When our lives are consumed with care for stuff and preserving our way of life, we leave little or no room for the people in our lives.
To make our world a better place, we also have to make a little space: a little space in our hearts; a little space in our lives. That little space can be immense when we fear the Other: the black, gay, Muslim, refugee… The list goes on.
Heal the world
make it a better place
for you and for me
and the entire human race.
The verb heal is an appropriate choice when addressing the state of our unhealthy and unsustainable, global capitalist economic way of living. We need to restore the health of our habitats and the ecosystems that sustain human life. A full recovery is only possible when all the parts – the entire human race – can enjoy a better life.
With clogged arteries of dread and hopelessness, we have forgotten the healing power of love.
Love is strong
it only cares for joyful giving…
in this bliss we cannot feel
fear or dread
Stop existing and start living…
love’s enough for us growing…
See the complete excerpt of “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson, and more, at my Poetry Corner December 2015.