Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pride and Prejudice

By Mark W. Danielson

I had something else in mind for this week’s blog, but a recent Youtube performance convinced me that it should be postponed. The name Susan Boyle had never been heard until she sang on Britain’s Got Talent, but now the world has been introduced to a woman with a gift, not in physical beautify, but of extraordinary talent.

There is a lesson in this—on how we place too much emphasis on outer beauty and not enough on the beauty within. On how we prejudge people based on their appearance. On how we take so little time to know strangers because it’s easier to bypass them. Susan’s remarkable performance of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables was not only flawless, but its lyrics could not have been more suiting.

Authors have a distinct advantage over others in the entertainment industry because we remain behind the scenes. It matters not what our physical appearance is, but rather how our words flow. If a scene stirs as much emotion as Susan Boyle’s performance did her listeners, then it was well written. I believe that’s the goal of every writer, though few actually achieve it.

For those who have not been fortunate enough to watch Susan’s performance, then please take a moment to view the brief Youtube video at It is rare when something as innocent as this can teach us so much about life. Take a lesson from Susan and dream your dreams.



Jean Henry Mead said...

Mark, I've watched this video a number of times this week and it always brings a lump to my throat. Susan Boyle certainly proves the old addage, "You can't judge a book by its cover."

Ben Small said...

I loved the look on Simon's face. Absolute shock.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I just read on AOL that it was a brilliant publicity stunt engineered by Simon, himself. He's going to sign Susan Boyle to a contract with his record company. Susan isn't talking. :)

Mark W. Danielson said...

I'm not sure how credible AOL is for news, but the reality in Susan Boyle's performance was in the audience's reaction. As one judge said, the audience initially wanted Susan to fail, but she turned that around with her first few notes. Susan deserves whatever success comes her way. No doubt, she has talent.

I suspect that we've all had our bias from time to time, but the lesson in this is the learning never stops.

Jean Henry Mead said...

You're right, Mark, Susan is definitely talented. If it was Simon's publicity stunt, it certainly was a roaring success as well as a message to the world that anything is possible.

Helen Ginger said...

I've watched the video either on TV or the Internet several times. It always comes close to making me cry. I've also heard what they say is an audio of her singing another song (years ago). That song is even better, but it's not the same as when you can watch her.