By Michael Jackson
On March 21, 2001, Michael Jackson went to Oxford University to promote the Heal the Kids initiative and introduce his Children’s Universal Bill of Rights. In light of all the healing that needs to happen in the world, I found this speech appropriate. For those in the process of planning or currently undertaking parenthood, this speech provides some great food for thought about how to interact with your children. However, as it really does take a village to raise a child, being a parent isn’t a prerequisite to understanding the importance of the ideas discussed here.
Thank you, thank you dear friends, from the bottom of my heart, for such a loving and spirited welcome, and thank you, Mr President, for your kind invitation to me which I am so honoured to accept. I also want to express a special thanks to you Shmuley, who for 11 years served as Rabbi here at Oxford. You and I have been working so hard to form Heal the Kids, as well as writing our book about childlike qualities, and in all of our efforts you have been such a supportive and loving friend. And I would also like to thank Toba Friedman, our director of operations at Heal the Kids, who is returning tonight to the alma mater where she served as a Marshall scholar, as well as Marilyn Piels, another central member of our Heal the Kids team.
I am humbled to be lecturing in a place that has previously been filled by such notable figures as Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X. I’ve even heard that Kermit the Frog has made an appearance here, and I’ve always felt a kinship with Kermit’s message that it’s not easy being green. I’m sure he didn’t find it any easier being up here than I do!