This post is not about conflict in the Middle East and the politics of stopping or not the countdown to catastrophe for all. It’s about a lady who has won my heart and my mind.
It’s long been my view that modern life is a de-humanizing process, that our leaders are taking us back to the jungle, and that if our children are to have even the prospect of a future worth having, we citizens of nations have got to claim back our humanity. In that light I see and hear Scottish singer Susan Boyle as a great inspiration.
On her way to becoming a global superstar (if she isn’t already), she is obviously going to win ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. About herself this most remarkable woman, 48, unemployed, unmarried and never-been-kissed-by-a-man, has said: “All my life I’ve always striven to prove myself, that I can be accepted and I’m not the worthless person people think I am, and that I do have something to offer.”
It’s delightfully appropriate that she was born on April Fool’s Day – 1 April 1961. She had a difficult journey into this world of ours. During her birth, her mother, Bridget, 47 at the time, was briefly deprived of oxygen and Susan was subsequently diagnosed as having learning difficulties. At school she was nicknamed “Susan Simple”.
What you have to offer, dear Susan, is not only your beautiful, powerful voice, but yourself, all of you, just as you are. Please, please, don’t let them change you.
As to the real reason for your fame to date (apart from your voice), I can only endorse the words written by Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon.com. Your fame, she wrote, can be explained by your ability to remind your audience that, like them, you are a normal, flawed and vulnerable person, familiar with disappointment and mockery, but who is nevertheless determined to fight for her dream.
Elaine Paige has described you as a “role model for everyone who has a dream”. True, but you are much more than that. You are a wonderful ambassador for our common humanity.
Susan Boyle – Ambassador for our Common Humanity