Michael Jackson, Bernie Madoff and Greg Carr

 The bombardment of news about Michael Jackson and the verdict handed down for Bernie Madoff set me to pondering how people choose to handle fame and fortune. Michael Jackson chose to fund a monstrous drug habit and multiple plastic surgeries as he became more and more of a recluse. Bernie Madoff chose to fund his lavish lifestyle on the backs of friends, family and other investors. Greg Carr chose to save a country including the people and the magnificent wildlife.

Greg Carr, right out of Harvard, made millions with a little convenience we call Voice Mail. He cashed out in 1998 with over $200 million. Since then he has taught charities to use the wisdom of his entrepreneurship. Most significantly, he focused on one of the poorest places on earth---Mozambique in East Africa. With breath-taking beauty and wondrous wildlife, this country coulda, shoulda, woulda been the most popular national park in Africa. War, malaria and HIV created the devastation Carr found four years ago. So with $40 million of his own money, Carr is working with the government to resurrect the country, the people and the wildlife.

So what made the difference in Jackson, Madoff and Greg Carr's choices? VALUES. This is not a judgment on the events that shaped Jackson and Madoff. It is a vital lesson though that through choosing our values we can also choose what we make of the events that shape our lives.

Visit the chapters of my book and respond to the values essays that you think might have made a difference in the lives of these tragic people.

updated: 7 years ago


Linda Carruth DavisTuesday, July 28th 2009 6:08PM

Sadly, Michael Jackson, in my opinion perished under the weight of the celebrity that drove him to addictions. His family could redeem his tragic death with public dialogue on fame and addictions instead of wasting time chasing bogus charges.