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With the passing of Michael Jackson yesterday, I, along with just about everyone else I know, turned on the television to watch the coverage. Since new information was rather scarce in the first couple of hours of this breaking story, the first thing that I saw on most stations was the footage from his trial when charges of child molestation were brought against him along with images of how he was dressed, how he acted and just about everything else associated with his comings and goings to the court. This made me really angry.

Michael Jackson was acquitted of the charges brought against him in that case. He also had his reasons for settling the earlier case which does not automatically mean that he must have been guilty. Now if you have read any of my previous blogs or have seen my profile, you immediately know that one of my major platforms has to do with abuse as a result of my own situation. And for me, any abuse, mentally or physically against children, is horrific and must be stopped. However, I also believe that none of us has the right to judge anyone else with regard to things that did or didn’t happen unless we were an integral part of the experience.

For famous people like Michael Jackson, there are always those people who wish to create negative stories just to have their own fifteen minutes of fame or because they want to make money or because they are just plain jealous of someone else’s success. Just because someone has said something does not make it fact. I know that I have been the victim of false accusations in the past and I am sure that most people have had such an experience at one time or another in their lives. And it didn’t take long for others to spread the falsehood as fact and pass judgment accordingly.

I don’t know whether Michael Jackson was guilty of anything because I wasn’t there. I never met the man. Even as far as the court case is concerned, I didn’t hear the evidence and even then, I would have no way of knowing whether there was anything withheld or inserted that could have made a difference in the final outcome. In fact, it really is none of my business. It is the business of those who were directly involved or directly interacted with him.

As far as I am concerned, Michael Jackson and each of us have only to answer to ourselves at the end of the day. No matter what anyone else has to say, I believe that God is my one and only judge. I don’t believe that anyone else has the right to judge my actions anymore than I have the right to judge someone else. Michael left us yesterday to face his final judgment. It is my hope that he has finally found peace in that judgment.

I would love your comments.

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As an adult, when we find ourselves in abusive relationships, we have the ability to talk to others, seek help and find ways to get away from the abuse.  Certainly it is not an easy thing to do but it is a choice that we can make.  However, children do not have the opportunities to know their resources and even if they do, are usually intimidated into believing whatever threats are made by their abuser.

I don’t have any children and I do not personally know any child that has suffered from physical abuse.  I do know that if I were aware of a child being abused, I would not hesitate to go to the authorities.  I would not try to handle the matter with the parent or parents as I am not trained to do so.  Nor would I be willing to risk the well-being of any child or children by allowing the parents to find ways to hide the children or try to hide the abuse or take the children and run.

Verbal abuse is an entirely different situation.  Many parents and other adults that I have met along the way do not find anything wrong with the way that they speak to their children.  For example, if a child is not doing well in school, they have no problem with telling the child that he/she is a loser and will never amount to anything.  They tell the children that they are dumb, stupid, etc. and go on their way, never thinking twice about the ramification of their words.  Then there are those who have children who do a fantastic job but regardless of their achievements, it is never enough.  They are expected to do well and if they don’t meet the parents’ expectations, then they are not trying hard enough or they are lazy or they don’t care and on and on and on.

I don’t think that there is a single person who is reading this blog who has not either personally experienced such behavior directly or saw others inflicting this upon other children.  Many girls are told that they are too fat or two skinny or too ugly, etc. and end up spending their adult life so self-absorbed in their personal appearance that they never even consider that they are beautiful people just for the people that they are.  They never consider that their real happiness in life would be found with a person who appreciates their willingness to trust and to nurture and to be allowed to be just whom and what they are.

Many of the same things happen for boys.  If they are not into playing sports and being the big man on campus and working out in the gym all of the time, they are constantly being reminded that they are failures as men and less than desirable and that no woman would ever be interested in them.  They have a difficult time growing into adults who understand that physical acumen has nothing to do with being a wonderful husband and great human being.  And the sad part here is that the abuse usually comes from the fathers who never succeeded in the athletic arena themselves and are now trying to live vicariously through their sons.

I do understand that most people act and talk to their children this way in the hope that it will spur them on to do bigger and better things.  After all, this is the way that the children’s parents were treated by their own parents.  However, if every adult would stop to think about the verbal abuse that they experienced as they grew up, I think that it would be a whole different ballgame.  How did you do in your adult life as a result of being told that you were dumb, stupid, lazy, too fat, too skinny, not smart enough, not working to your potential, not doing the best that you can, etc.?  How has such verbal abuse diminished you as a person?  How much did you buy into the abuse that was repeated to you over and over and over?  And now, most importantly, as a result of this abuse, how has it changed you as the person you are and what are you going to do to change from who you were told you are into the person that you actually are?  The easiest way will be to start speaking to the children in your life in a manner that is completely respectful and to offer your help and knowledge to them if they need it.  The more that you treat the children with dignity and respect, the more you will become a positive role-model in their lives and the more respect you will have for yourself which will lead you to being the person that you truly are and/or want to be.  And we will not end up raising another generation of people who will perpetuate the same destructive behavior on their children as we have been doing for so many generations.

If you need help or have questions about child abuse or child neglect, check out www.childhelp.org.

I would love your comments.

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