Friday, April 17, 2009

More on Susan Boyle

Yesterday, I posted a very brief entry on Susan Boyle whose performance on Britains Got Talent is absolutely everywhere. I, like a number of other people, have been trying to figure out what this means, if anything. Why is this such an incredible flash point? Is it because she's plain? Is it because she's older? Is it because it shows life is sometimes fair? All of those are true. For me, though, there are a couple of other things.

First of all, one of the things that got me was that solitary splendor. She was all alone on that stage and completely won over a huge crowd that started out against her. And she won them over, not with looks or guile or even talent, though she does have talent. I think she won them (and me) over with generosity, with a selfless sharing of the gifts that she has. And with incredible courage. The guts it took to walk out there and face the potential mockery and scorn is remarkable.

Secondly, there was something humble about it. Not humble as in the cringing, I'm-not-worthy style of humility. More like Marianne Williamson's often-quoted statement, "We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world." She wasn't playing small when everyone there thought she ought to. Nor was she self-aggrandizing. She was who she is (as if I knew); she did what she does; she took a risk; and she won the day.

My mom's emails end with the line, "There came a time when the risk to remain right in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." The other joy, of course, is seeing her bloom right in front of our eyes. I hope she does all right under all this scrutiny.

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