There is a buzz going around about Susan Boyle, a woman from England who sang on Britain's Got Talent. I highly recommend watching the video of her performance, but make sure to watch the whole thing. As you do, key in on two things: the audience/judge's reaction to her at the beginning and their reaction/response at the end. They've disabled embedding the video into blogs, so you'll have watch it on YouTube: CLICK HERE
There is a reality where talent must match dreaming. Hard work & dedication will help a person reach a required level of talent, but hopefully it's a given that you can't subtract talent from a dream for it to become a reality.
But...no one in the audience nor watching would have assumed she could do what she could solely because of their first impressions of her. Look at the snicker on the judges faces and the girl rolling her eyes at the weird lady on stage. Does she have talent, has she worked hard, does she have the experience weren't questions on anyone's minds. All they could see was a lady acting cheeky on stage (to use the English idiom). Everyone immediately concluded that she didn't have talent simply because they didn't think she did; they didn't give her a chance to prove herself before they had already made their conclusions.
That is the unfortunate reality - we often take our assumption of a person as certainty instead of discovering what is indeed true about the person.
The saddest line of this video? When she said, "No one gave me a chance before."
How many times do we assume our first impressions are accurate?
How many times are we kind while interacting with a person but at the same time we're dismissing them in our minds?
How many people are not allowed to truly shine, simply because arrogant people think they are unable to do so?
This video convicted me deeply. Though I have been in Susan Boyle's shoes before, feeling the pain of not being given a chance, I know very well I have been on the other end - having not given others a chance.
Apart from her singing and making everyone eat their words/thoughts, the best lines of the video: "I'm thrilled because I know everyone was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical, and I think that's the biggest wake up call ever. I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that."
God may I always give people a chance.
May I never suppress another's dream because they seem weird.
May I never be so arrogant to think that someone doesn't have something to offer - that someone doesn't have a talent they can use or a dream they can fulfill.
May we always give people a chance to surprise us with who they are and what they can offer.
May we always find it a privilege to experience all of the talents and abilities of all of those around us.
May we always help people discover the balance between talent and dreams, and help them find their voice and niche.
And may all of the Susan Boyle's of the world be given a chance to show what they can do!