Monday, April 20, 2009

Little People matter most

Susan Boyle, 48, walked on to the stage of the Britain’s Got Talent show and won the hearts of audiences across the world with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from the musical Les MisĂ©rables.

11 million people watched her first appearance on the programme. An unemployed Scottish woman, without the grooming and social graces of aspirant starlets, and a life confined to her cat, her house work and her local church, she was deliberately set up as a potential flop. I dread to think of how Susan would have left the stage if her voice had been less than exceptional. But the minute she began to sing she rendered the judges silent and the audience cheering on their feet.

More than 25 million have logged on to YouTube to see the clip of her audition. (If you haven't - then take a minute and look at the clip: Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle connects with me in a deep and powerful way. For me, not only does the ugly duckling spread her wings, but she takes on the cynical, patronizing judges and flattens them with her talent.

But there is more: Paul Wood is a construction worker in London, who builds video networks on the web in his spare time. Steve Rosenbaum tells how Wood had seen Susan Boyle in the auditions and decided to take a risk. He bought the URL and Sunday night - moments after the broadcast - he had a fan site for her up online. Four days later he had a website that gets close to a million page views a day and has over 12,000 registered members.

I am always attracted to the triumph of the “little person”. I cheer for the underdog to win…… and in our current world we just don't have enough of this stuff. Right now Governments are bailing out large financial companies while the little people suffer; political parties ignore the hardworking community workers in favour of their chosen candidates; and workers on factory floors are retrenched while company directors are paid handsome bonuses.

Perhaps here I glimpse the reality of the Easter story: an itinerant Jewish preacher who is crushed by the political and religious leaders of his day – only to rise again in defiance of those who would silence him.

So Susan Boyle and Paul Wood inspire me. And I will continue to believe that the marginalized, the outcast, and the rejected are the beloved of God.


Anonymous said...

All this from someone who suffered oxygen deprivation as an infant!

Jen Tyler said...

Thanks for sharing this, Pete. A story I had not heard, but am now absolutely inspired by. Incredible and triumphant, indeed.