Susan Boyle and Us

“There is energy,  passion, unawakened life in us….”  Mary P. Follet

Yes, please count me among the people who cried (even wept)  when we watched Susan Boyle sing “I Dreamed a Dream” on  Britains Got Talent TV show.  My emotion didn’t  recede until after three or four viewings and a walk in brisk San Francisco air. I’m not sure how many of us among the 26 million plus viewers  felt (from somewhere in our unconscious) that some part of us in that moment was Susan. 

As I passed the internet link forward to family and friends I wrote, “words cannot express.”  This entire experience went straight to my soul. It felt good in that moment  just  to feel  it without explaining it.  For a few minutes we saw a plain, middle age woman powerfully intent to sing her song and ”rock  her audience.”

In the seconds she set herself to sing, she changed. She didn’t swing her hips or flap an attitude in tune with the show’s brassiness.  She set herself. Her power came from inside, her talent burst from inside, the song came from her heart.  

Yes, yes, yes!  says spiritual democracy – this is what it ’ s all about.  Mary Parker Follet, a visionary of democracy in the early 20th century said, “there is energy, passion, unawakened life in us, those who call it forth are our leaders.” Follet goes on to say, “that a job of a teacher to a student is to make him feel, (to quote H.G. Wells), that we are filled with almighty power…against which the forces of hell, of destruction, of caprice, and of the lawlessness of the jungle cannot prevail.”

 We weep at Susan’s stunning performance because we love stuff like that that is inside of ourselves. As great as her singing talent is, the greatness about her for us viewers is the message conveyed that we are like her in some way. There is more of us untapped, we know it…and need to find it, perhaps to have it coaxed out of us . 

What if we began to look at one another with an expectation to find something more?  Let’s drop cynicism  and  negative judgment like the audience did for Susan.  

Let’s imagine new attitudes and structures in family, education, governance, business and service that start from a conviction that we (each person) is on his and her  way towards  greater authenticity. The attitudes of people around us and the structures we find ourselves in will accelerate and serve us in our journey or diminish and block us. Let’s  make these structures serve us better. We are helping to create a greater democracy for all when we do.  Even though Susan is now getting tons of attention and media hoopla,  Susan’s phenomenal story for our emerging global humanity –  is about us.  

In case you haven’t seen Susan Boyle’s famous Youtube feature, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nox2DRCAKxk&NR=1

Sally

 

4 Comments

  1. Richard Talbott

    Sally,
    I came across this lecture that I think contributes to the conversation. The subject is the Obama phenomenon, delivered before his election. It tackles the inherent complexity in the idea of democracy, not to mention “spiritual democracy”, in terms of the perennial, ultimately paradoxical question: what is it that I am, and what is it that I am a part of? The speaker, Simon Critchley, asks the question in another way: How does one balance passion and detachment in the political arena?

    http://www.truveo.com/Branding-Democracy-Barack-Obama-and-the-American/id/216172821063016214

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