"Grammy Awards" Acceptance Speech – February 24, 1993 PDF Print E-mail


"[…] ...In the past month, I've gone from "where is he?" to "Here he is again," but I must confess, it feels good to be thought of as a person, not as a personality. Because I don't read all the things written about me, I wasn't aware that the world thought I was so weird and bizarre. But when you grow up as I did, in front of one hundred million people since the age of five, you're automatically different. The last few weeks, I have been cleansing myself and it's been a rebirth for myself. It's like a cleansing spirit.

My childhood was completely taken away from me. There was no Christmas, there were no birthdays, it was not a normal childhood, nor the normal pleasures of childhood - those were exchanged for hard work, struggle, and pain, and eventually material and professional success. But as an awful price, I cannot re-create that part of my life. However, today, when I create my music, I feel like an instrument of nature. I wonder what delight nature must feel when we open our hearts and express our God-given talents. The sound . . . of approval rolls across the universe, and the whole world abounds in magic. Wonder fills our hearts, for what we have glimpsed, for an instant, the playfulness of life.

And that's why I love children and learn so much from being around them. I realise that many of our world's problems today - from the inner city crime, to large scale wars and terrorism, and our overcrowded prisons - are a result of the fact that children have had their childhood stolen from them. The magic, the wonder, the mystery, and the innocence of a child's heart, are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world. I really believe that.

What, what we need to learn, what we need to learn from children isn't childish. Being with them connects us to the deeper wisdom of life which is everpresent, and only asks to be lived. They know the solutions that lie waiting to be recognised within our own hearts. Today, I would like to thank all the children of the world, including the sick and deprived . . . I am so sensitive to your pain. […]."