Friday, April 17, 2009

Hurrah for Susan Boyle

Who gave me goose pimples last Tuesday, as the first clips of her performance on Britain's Got Talent 2009 were uploaded on the net. Three cheers for the lady. I hope this is the start of a rewarding career. (Now I can't quit humming stuff from Les Miserables).

My friend, Cebu-based lawyer May Saga-Aguilar, posted a note about Susan on her Facebook account. I'm uploading it with permission here --

Susan Boyle and the Cynical World

Susan Boyle is probably the most inspirational event I have come upon in recent times. It is true: it is a big "wake-up call". Very often, more often than we care to admit, we judge people by their outward appearance. I wonder how many TRUE TALENTS we have killed by our cynicism and prejudgments, how many potential successes we have nipped because we refused to give them the opportunity, all because they "did not look right".

(I am reminded of the Olympics in China. One girl sang the song, the other lip-synched it on stage. Reason: despite her wonderful voice, the unseen girl was not pretty enough to be seen.)

In her interview prior to her performance, Susan Boyle was asked by a judge: "What's the dream?". Susan replied that she was trying to be a professional singer. I could see the face of one woman in the audience register a look of contempt and ridicule.

The judge continued to ask her: "Why hasn't it worked out so far?"

She replied: "Well, I haven't been given the chance before, but here's hoping that would change."

What is ironic is that Ms. Boyle had, in fact, recorded a song "Cry Me a River" in 1999. Why has Ms. Boyle not been discovered despite this fact? Was it because when the producers saw her, they thought she was too homely and too fat to appear on TV, that her album will never sell because she did not look right?

Ms. Boyle's performance on "Britain's Got Talent" has indeed changed things. Now, she has everybody's attention, and everybody is eager to give her the chance - a chance she fought to have, and has sadly been denied, for the last 35 years since she started singing at age 12.

I wonder how many Susan Boyles we have around us, and I am not talking only of singers or performers. I am talking even of athletes and leaders and other people with talents to share. How many have been denied the opportunity because they did not look right, did not dress right, or did not sound right? Do we need a show like "Britain's Got Talent" to reveal them?

I call this my "Susan Boyle Experience". I will keep this as a reminder that this is a cynical world, and that there are people around me who are better than they look. I can help change the world by being less cynical and less judgmental of people.

Yes, this is a cynical world. But "here's hoping that will change".

Photo of Susan Boyle from the Mirror website.

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