It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since a shy and seemingly awkward woman from Scotland tromped across the stage on Britain’s Got Talent and reminded the world how very wrong it is to judge a person based on appearance. Audience members poked one another and made faces when Susan Boyle walked onto the stage, but after hearing her lovely voice sing “I Dreamed a Dream”, they were the ones left feeling awkward. Even that smarmy Simon Whats-his-Name admitted (in a roundabout way) he’d judged her unfairly. Lessons learned….
It appears we have another learning opportunity. Last week, teenager opera singers, Charlotte Jaconelli and Jonathan Antoine appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. Here’s a clip, if you haven’t seen it:
Many of us who are, or were, “of size”, have most likely experienced the blows to self-confidence that Jonathan describes in the video. We’ve seen the nudges, the looks exchanged, heard the whispers, felt the sneers. Each and every gesture hurts as much as the first one, even if we tell ourselves they don’t. I can’t even imagine the courage it takes to get up on a stage and be exposed to that on such a huge scale. But they did it, and they did it beautifully.
At least once each Christmas, someone in my family will receive a tiny wrapped package and someone will say, “Sometimes big things come in small packages.”
And that’s true.
But it’s also true that sometimes big things come in big packages, and I can only hope that someday more people will recognize and accept that talent, skill, and intelligence have nothing to do with size, shape, or any other physical attribute. Until then, I hope that those who don’t get that will at least have the decency to quit poking each other and making faces.