Lately there has been a huge kafuffle over Susan Boyle, the plucky came-from-nowhere Scots lady who wowed even Simon Cowell last week on "Britain's Got Talent". Mostly the comments and blogs have been overwhelmingly favorable, with the few dissenting voices apparently coming from embittered, failed Patty Page wannabes and competing spinsters who are worried there is about to be one less of their own amongst them. I actually read a rather scathing post yesterday penned by Nora Ephron that does not bear repeating here (mostly because I think she would not hesitate to sue the pants off of me). I put her in the category of Sour Grapes, someone who has made lots of money dissing various ex-husbands and boyfriends, so I'm not sure I value her opinion much anyway.
The point of all this is that I am in the ranks of those who think Ms Boyle really has some genuine talent and isn't just a one-hit wonder. If you Google her 1999 rendition of "Cry Me a River" I think you will agree with me. I'm no expert, mind you, but I think she can sing pretty darn well and I can't wait for her to publish her first CD.
Unfortunately, most of us tend to judge people by the way they look and not what might be in their hearts, souls or vocal chords just waiting to be freed if given a chance. Haven't we all known someone who didn't quite seem to fit in, but after we got to know them they won us over with their determination, their inner joy, their sense of humor? Years ago I was at my high school prom and found myself talking to a guy that I had known all through school but had never given the time of day to. We ended up talking for close to an hour (I have no idea where my date was) and I saw a side of him that I had no idea existed, purely because I had been so busy judging him by his looks. I ended up having a huge crush on Alan and even though we never went out on a date, we kept in touch for many years, exchanging Christmas cards and chatting at our high school reunions. Years later when he sent me a wedding announcement my first thought was "what a lucky girl".
We should all be so lucky to meet someone like Alan. Or Susan Boyle. Or at least have the privilege of talking to them or hearing them sing and not judge them by their looks. Their heart and soul has always been right in front of us, if we will only take the time to look and listen.