Susan Boyle: A Counterculture Spirituality

From April 11,2009 until today April 21, in a matter of 10 days, Susan Boyle’s Youtube clip has been viewed 35 million times and counting. I got the news first from OTWOMD, ignore it momentarily, and then got back to Bluepanjeet’s blog again and decided to view it, on top of reading Bluep’s beautiful post flavored by his struggle. Wow! I was stunned. She’s simply heart-tugging! Somewhere, there was this universal connection midwifed by the virtual world. I allowed her to speak to me, even to my sense of being “useless” and disposable currently. Susan Boyle. like the rest of us, simply inspires me to keep my dream alive. I need not infantilize her. She’s simply an angel heaven-sent, disturbing the world’s standards of peace and happiness and joy. I scoured for more reactions to this cultural break and found the following to be real profound in their take. I claim they are giants in their courageous and honest admission of this countercultural lightning:

After she got her unanimous Yes votes from Simon, Amanda, and Piers, I typed “Ageism Be Damned” in the subject line of an email and sent the YouTube link to everyone on my Women’s Issues list and within an hour, more than a dozen had written to tell me that it made them weep. Since then I’ve talked to other friends who’ve confessed to the same reaction. What are we all crying about? What is it about this woman that touches us so deeply?

Partly, I think it’s the age thing, the fact that a woman closing in on 50 had the courage to compete with the kids — and blew them out of the water. “Women of a certain age” should be forgiven for finding vicarious satisfaction in Susan’s victory. In plain words, it’s an up-yours to the cocky youth culture that often writes us off.

But I’d wager that most of our joyful tears were fueled by the moral implicit in Susan’s fairy-tale performance: “You can’t tell a book by its cover.” For such extraordinary artistry to emerge from a woman that plain-spoken, unglamorous, and unyoung was an intoxicating reminder of the wisdom in that corny old cliché. The three judges and virtually all those who watched Susan Boyle in the theater (and probably on YouTube as well) were initially blinded by entrenched stereotypes of age, class, gender, and Western beauty standards, until her book was opened and everyone saw what was inside.

I think we cried because her story appears to be en route to a happy ending, but also, perhaps, for all the books whose covers have never been cracked.”

Letty Cottin
Why Susan Boyle Makes Us Cry

What does it say about the civilized world that our expectations for greatness are diminished when people are unattractive and/or old? It’s no mystery why American Idol screens out any would-be singers over the age of 30.”

Tamar Abrams
Susan Boyle: Talent Without Judgment

“Susan Boyle said she decided to take the risk for her mother, but without knowing, she did it for all of us. She gave us her talent, her courage and the lesson that risking failure is almost always necessary to attain success.”

Steve Young
There’s A Little Susan Boyle in Us

“We prejudged her before we heard her sing. We should have known better, and now we do.”

Bella DePaulo
Susan Boyle: Lessons We Still Haven’t Learned

“Susan Boyle: The picture of courage. Immense self-possession. Perfect Centeredness. Inner beauty. And a spirit of fun.

Susan Boyle: My definition of actualizing potential by allowing the energy of the universe to flow through you.

Susan Boyle: One small person amazing, inspiring, and energizing the world.

Susan Boyle: The Imponderable, Improbable, even Impossible Dream empowering us all to reach and achieve.

Susan Boyle: Her wondrous spirit washed over that hall in a flash, enveloping everyone, lifting them up, and filling their hearts.

Susan Boyle: One moment. One person. One act of open surrender to what’s truly possible.

Susan Boyle: The power to change a face. The power to melt a heart. The power to cover the earth with belief. From one small village.

Susan Boyle: The immense, incalculable power of inner vision, humility, persistence, and play.

Susan Boyle: Our living lesson that when life provides a stage, sing your heart out, and prepare to be blessed!”

Tom Morris
Susan Boyle energizes the World

“Clearly, with the media feeding us that beauty is seen only on the covers of senseless magazines, who among the men therefore in their right mind would actually date her?

If you can just imagine how lonely it must have been to be Susan Boyle in all her life: bullied on the basis of her appearance, rejected, ridiculed, ostracised and regarded as a retard, no job, no lovelife, no nothing that this world has to offer.

But come to think of it, with all of these things lacking in her life, she only has one thing which she treasured the most: Hel Faith as a Catholic.”


Susan, you are both a fish in the desert and a fisher, aren’t you?


15 thoughts on “Susan Boyle: A Counterculture Spirituality

  1. Thanks for this post kapatid… I have seen her video right after I came out of my hiatus… And I too along with the other 35million people was astounded, and I was also on the verge of tears because I was very happy.

    I feel for those persons pre-judged due to their appearance… There was a part in my life when all I ever wanted was to showcase my intelligence whenever I open my mouth, and my drive was my insecurity of being pre-judged as someone and something else apart from what I am as a human person.

    The audience laughed at first. When she opened her mouth to sing the first few bars, they were on their feet, clapping, then I thought – Thank you Miss Susan Boyle for proving them all wrong!!!

  2. i watched her on youtube…..and everytime i do…a mystery is being unfolded before my eyes…each time….a new one….what’s with her anyway?
    defying the standards set by men….being the uncoventional…just like Jesus was in his time….

  3. i think susan boyle serves as an eye opener for everyone.. physically she has nothing to show but what really matters is her inward character.

    we oweiz judge people only to how we see them not to how we deal wid them…

  4. CWW: Kapatid, your experience is very for most of us: we like to impress and we love to side with the standard set by society – the beautiful, talented, streetsmart, techie, etc. Susan Boyle effortlessly found that flow that springs from her core – just being herself. This is indeed a response to the hunger of our times for simplicity and authenticity. Let’s hope media will not overcontrol her to taint such example of childlike innocence that we dearly search for.

  5. kaibigang blu: tama ka – it’s those kind of unfolding that really left us unguarded with all our shallowness and facades. I don’t want to skip this phenomenon without personally learning from it blu…

  6. yhen: yes, you talk of inner beauty that we all possess but most of us do not really live from. thank you for coming by…

  7. Pingback: The Susan Boyle effect: An amputee’s courage to MMA « EXODIANS

  8. The only thing I can do now is hope and pray. Traffic is down. Technorati links is down. Recession is on which means advertisement is down…. only thing we can do is always hope. Such a beautiful word ano.. HOPE.

    I never realized that it will take a spinster to move my heart to hope despite and inspite my flaws and weaknesses.

    May we all reach our dream

  9. A dreamer sang the song I dreamed a dream.. that brings the life of the song and performance of susan.. a dream come true!

    I was amazed! yes a wake up call to all of us not to judge anyone..

  10. Bluep – mukhang online economic crisis ka dyan. I pray you don’t overburden yourself by so many online projects, even the one for me kung meron man. I can still make do with WP kapatid…

  11. Hello Dfish! Just like you I also ignored the issue about Susan Boyle until I saw her again at the late night news. So I search her on the youtube. How amazing! I wanted to write a reflection about her but when I saw a lot of good friends who already wrote many good things about her, nakibasa na lang ako at nabusog na. God bless kapatid.

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