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Inspiration of the Day: Michael Jackson Moves Us to Make Change

Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

One of my favorite songs of all time is Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.” It’s an incredibly moving and powerful song about taking a good, hard, authentic look at ourselves to say that we are all active participants in our own health and well-being and the health and well-being of this world we live in.

If you have five minutes, press play, close your eyes, listen to the words and enjoy:

He starts out by setting his intention:

I’m Gonna Make A Change,

For Once In My Life

It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,

Gonna Make A Difference

Gonna Make It Right . . .

There’s truth to this. Studies show that altruism is linked to feeling good. In fact, if you were given $20 and spent it on another person, you would likely report feeling better than if you took the money and spent it on yourself.

Later, he follows with opening his eyes with empathy and compassion:

I See The Kids In The Street,

With Not Enough To Eat

Who Am I, To Be Blind?

Pretending Not To See

Their Needs

The brain is wired to habituate to life. All the difficulty we see in the world eventually just becomes wallpaper; an object that exists in our lives. It’s not like we’re pretending not to see their needs, we are likely not even conscious of them as our brain skips over it.

One of the themes in The Now Effect is sliding under those rapid snap judgments that objectify the people around us, and as Stanford psychologist and researcher Philippe Goldin says, seeing them as “Just like me;” people who have the same wants and needs of belonging, understanding and love.

Read over this chorus and allow it to seep into your mind and affect the hours and days ahead. You can truly make a difference, it starts with you and the ripple effects are exponential.

I’m Starting With The Man In

The Mirror

I’m Asking Him To Change

His Ways

And No Message Could Have

Been Any Clearer

If You Wanna Make The World

A Better Place

Take A Look At Yourself And

Then Make A Change

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Inspiration of the Day: Michael Jackson Moves Us to Make Change

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2012). Inspiration of the Day: Michael Jackson Moves Us to Make Change. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 30 Jul 2012
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