People that I have had the privilege of getting to know would state that I am a huge Michael Jackson fan, of and on even obsessive to some extent. My all time favorite song was not written by Michael himself but Siedah Garrett and the song is titled “Man in the Mirror”. A few years ago I was in the middle of my working career and in general, I couldn’t complain. Materially, I was at an all-time-high and according to what society had taught me, should also have been on a peak in terms of happiness. I had just experienced fatherhood, had a loving wife (still do) but despite these obvious causes of happiness, still felt sort of lost. Who was that tired, overweight, middle-age looking man with foggy eyes in the mirror? It couldn’t be me, so where was I?
I found myself listening to “Man in the Mirror” on my way to and home from work. The lyrics echoing down my spine stating “if you wanna make a change, you gotta start with yourself”. This message of change seemed to broaden itself and I started to see things differently. Never-ending power struggles that you find in larger corporations, especially banks, seemed pointless to me and I could’t find any interest in the game I had previously successfully played. I now believe that this consumeristic society exists by inflating individual egos to the extent that the world splits into two pieces, myself and everything else. In this process, speaking for myself, I felt that I had lost my connection with Gaia (the earth) and therefore I had lost myself. Growing up, I spent numerous hours raising money to purchase rainforest for the purpose of deforestation prevention. I wrote letters in Spanish to Presidents in Latin America urging for them to not cut the the trees and to protect the wildlife. The mirror did not show this boy as an adult, but rather someone else.
With the “Man in the Mirror” song echoing in my mind speaking of change singing, “I am gonna make a change and it’s gonna feel so good, come on, change”, I decided to take a break and do some soul-searching. This was 2 years ago and I am still on a journey. The reflection in the mirror has changed but more importantly, I have found myself again. Like any friend that you haven’t met in a while, it normally takes some time to catch up. Getting to know the young boy who desperately wanted to save the rainforest as an adult is a gift and I feel truly blessed!
The song ends with “make that change”.