Self-esteem building and Susan Boyle of Scotland

The world learned about Susan Boyle’s phenomenal singing talent after April 11, 2009, the date when her audition with the British Got Talent (BGT) Reality TV Show was aired. The audition was a risk she took for her dream. Incidentally, her piece at the audition which was “I dreamed the dream” from Les Miserables encapsulated her long journey to her dream of becoming a professional singer. Where she is now in her singing career did not come easy. From her own account, as a child, she experienced the taunts and all forms of ridicule around her because of her learning difficulties brought about by a brief deprivation of oxygen during her birth. She was nicknamed “Susie Simple” by the kids in her milieu.During that fateful Saturday, April 11, 2009 when Susan’s singing was aired, You Tube viewers around the world were in the tens of millions and counting. Why did Susan Magdalane Boyle catch the attention of the world?

While media icons are mercilessly trapped into the image stereotypes of media companies, Susan Boyle came into the scene with her pristine singing talent packaged in what viewers saw as archaic and odd. She was 47 years old, never been kissed she told the audience and she only had a cat for a companion at home. Her appearance on stage solicited raised eyebrows from the BGT judges and from the audience. For Susan, obviously, who could have handled those taunts better than she herself who has survived the name calling even as a child? When she opened her mouth, everything changed. And now, all that is history. In September this year, in Britain, Susan's debut album was recognised as the fastest selling UK debut album of all time selling 411,820 copies beating the previous fastest selling debut of all time. In the U.S., the album sold 701,000 copies in its first week, the best opening week for a debut artist in over a decade.

As someone who follows a person who has inspired millions with her story like Susan Boyle, there are questions I’m posing in an effort to help others in circumstances similar to hers. Was it her music that made her tough and really determined to see her dream come true even though how long a journey it took her? Is suffering really the best spiritual teacher as in the case of Susan’s life so much so that she never let go of the power of hope in her heart? Many people say Susan was a media creation but if you listened closely to her singing, to agree that she is a media creation would insult your own understanding of music? Are human beings constantly looking for heroes/ heroines as a subconscious drive for wholeness but this drive is easily lost in the fierce competition between the mass media and the individual human psyche? Of course, there will be more questions than answers but suffice it to say that in the effort towards helping people build their self-esteem as in the work of organizing poor communities, the story of Susan Boyle is a story of hope.

Susan Boyle in New York City