This is actually one of my favorite MJ songs out there. I found him to be quite the lyricist, considering if he completely wrote or substantially aided in the process of writing his songs. He was an entertainer, as is evident from the video... and then he kind of went left field in most people's eyes. Which brings me to my point.
I love the message of this song. It is about confronting yourself, and making a change for the better: for yourself and society. More so, it is about realizing that there are those less fortunate. What I find interesting is MJ's stance in this song. He makes it sound as though he was unaware of the less fortunate based on his success. This seems a bit off, MJ coming from a poor beginning himself in Gary, Indiana. I don't think he ever overlooked his fans, or those who had less than him, especially children, which is brought out in the first verse. From this, I gather that MJ was referring to himself making a more lasting impression on people as his way to make a change. He was no doubt obsessed with being the greatest entertainer of the 20th Century and he pushed the limits, creatively, image-wise, etc. This song is his realization that he could be even bigger than he was; that he could be an icon. The video shows this. Every 30 seconds or so there is a reference to a clip of famous world leaders or difference makers. This is tying MJ to them; he wants to be as influential as they were and more. The message is powerful, and MJ was well on his way, it is just interesting how wild of a turn that ended up taking in his career, going from amazing entertainer and influential artist to a mostly fanatical persona. Still, MJ left a great mark on entertainment and raised the bar while he was in the spotlight.