Even Simon was blown away by what came out of Susan Boyle's mouth. Why was he so shocked? Does it speak to how quick we are to judge people before giving them a chance? Does this happen to you as the judge? As the judged? Do you struggle with being taken seriously? Isn't that what prejudice is?
It took a long time for me to accept that I had prejudices because I pride myself on being free of them. Not true. My prejudices are subtle, a certain accent or style of dress. Or they are socially acceptable, (God this makes me cringe) like obesity. It takes awareness and a willingness to be wrong, for me to work beyond my knee jerk first impressions.
The prejudice against Ms. Boyle is one that effects women of a certain age everywhere. It's rotten to be on the receiving end of this kind of ageism. The girl who substituted for my usual stylist asked innocently, "So do you have grandkids?" Ouch! But why should her remark hurt so much? Wasn't I there to have my grey roots attended to? I'm old enough to have grandkids even if I don't. Don't I know a lot of hip, dynamic, confident grandmother's? It was time to admit that I was a victim of my own prejudices and it was time to break free.
That's where Susan Boyle has a lot to teach me. What a lot of guts it took for her to get in front of the most famous asshole critic in the world. There is a twinkle in Ms. Boyle's eye before her performance which tells me she didn't need Simon to tell her her worth. That's a healthy self-esteem!
If you haven't seen it yet take a look.
photo courtesy of Bert Kommerij via Flickr