Today the world lost two titans of our time, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Cultural icons, Fawcett and Jackson were young, 62 and 50 respectively. As I get older, I pay more attention to someone's age when they pass away. This exercise forces me to consider how much time I may have left. This might sound morbid. I find it motivational.
Fawcett and Jackson were originals, risk takers, at once controversial and enormously intriguing. We couldn't take our eyes off of them. While Michael Jackson has become a recluse after his 2005 controversy, Fawcett became more public in the last years of her life. Jackson was in the midst of planning a hopeful comeback. Fawcett had made her comeback; her documentary on her experience fighting cancer aired recently to wide acclaim and extensive viewership. There is even talk of a posthumous Emmy.
Fawcett and Jackson stand in stark contrast when we consider the last days of their lives. Michael Jackson was interested in claiming what was - he wanted to get back to his fame and the reputation he had before his 2005 fall from grace. Fawcett took a different road. While the pin up pictures and her world famous smile and hair might be the first images that spring to mind when we hear her name, she wanted to make sure that people saw other, less glamorous images of her. She wanted people to see, up close and personal, what it was like to fight cancer with every weapon possible. She was living in the now, and she wanted us to live it with her.
What they shared in a very deep, emotional way was their desire to live as full as life as possible. They went after everything that this world has to offer. Fearless, unflinching. And that's a lesson we can all learn from.