The Susan Boyle phenomenon happened in the middle of Passover at which time observant Jews are unplugged from technology for the first two days and last two days of the holiday (similar to the Sabbath), and yet that name kept popping up during the brief time that I was plugged-in I just had to see for myself what all the fuss was about.Her voice was as beautiful as it was surprising. Seeing her triumph over the critics was exhilarating. But in the middle of her performance I started to wonder what would have happened if Susan Boyle had been mediocre or even downright awful?
She would have been jeered and booed by the live audience and probably laughed at by many viewers watching from home. Most of us would have never heard her name, unless of course she shtank so badly that the video of her singing went viral for the sole purpose of ridiculing her.
So why was she spared from the meanness? Why was she an inspiration instead of a humiliation? Because she had been granted a beautiful voice. I’m sure she worked on it and honed that voice over the years, but a lovely voice, just like beauty, intelligence, and wit are all God-given.
When we are complimented for possessing qualities such as these, society tells us to say “thank you,” but in truth, we should say “thank God”. (We are so trained to take credit for such attributes, can you imagine how obnoxious a woman would sound if upon being told she was beautiful she responded with “thank God”?!)
Susan Boyle’s inner qualities – honesty, generosity, compassion are unknown to us and have no real value when it comes to reality television. But for our own realities, we should consider two things: if we call ourselves Susan Boyle champions would we have taken perverse pleasure had she failed? We must also be sure to differentiate which of our own attributes are mere gifts and which are the ones we are responsible for improving.
Being awed by beauty that God put in the world is a wonderful thing, but actively working to create a beauty within yourself is nothing short of Godly.