The death of Michael Jackson reminds me of the passing away of the other generation's great artiste - Elvis Presley.
There are similarities - both were great singers and had millions of fans around the world. Both died at the time of their lives when others of lesser pedigree would have reached their prime and started planning for retirement.
However, Elvis - who could thrust his hips like no other - was bloated and obese while MJ - who could moonwalk better than Neil Armstrong - was skin and bones and undernourished. Both were hooked on prescription drugs, but Michael had more plastic surgery done on him than most other Hollywood stars.
What is it about fame that it can turn a regular human being into some pathetic monstrosity? Despite the financial security of millions of dollars in their bank accounts and the luxurious comfort of their huge mansions, the chosen ones could not handle the pressures of extreme fame, the expectations of their fans and the fear of failure, and they collapsed in a messed-up heap of emotional distresss that no amount of money in the world could rebuild or repair.
If fame is indeed meaningless, why do hundreds of thousands of wannabes turn up for American Idol auditions every year dreaming of becoming the next Carrie Underwood or Adam Lambert?
During such times when someone as big as Michael Jackson dies in controversial circumstances involving millions in debts and lots of drugs, the media would go haywire with their reports and live coverage. This is one of the rare times when footage of a body covered with a sheet of white cloth on a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance is considered "Breaking News" on CNN.
It is also during such times that we realise how fragile life is and how meaningless it can be and take stock on the road ahead for each one of us and perhaps adjust our priorities spiritually to attain some semblance of inner peace and sense of achievement.
Perhaps we should aim to amass treasures in heaven that will not rust and thieves cannot steal from us while we are distracted in our relentless pursuit of fame.