We Judge by Appearance

We’ve all heard this many times before: don’t judge others by their appearance. Yet we still do it. Evidence the recent blast into stardom of Susan Boyle on ‘Britain’s Got Talent.’ She’s been featured on UTube (about 100 million views), on TV, in print, online, and emails are still flying around the world. Her voice coach worries that she’ll be lost in the PR swirl. (Yes, she has a coach.)

From laughter and ridicule to amazement and standing ovation in just a few moments. Many shed tears as they watched and listened to her surprisingly beautiful rendition of one of my favorite songs, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. It’s heart warming to know that people can embrace someone so quickly, yet scary to think that just moments before she was openly ridiculed. I’m sure you’ve experienced similar examples of how fickle we can be.

Last week, at the memorial Mass of a friend who died unexpectedly, we learned that she, too, had talents most of us had never known. She had dementia, yet at some point wrote Haiku. I was so impressed with her catchy 3-lined poetry in 5-7-5 syllables — descriptive, touching, clever words on paper that she could not have verbalized — I pass these gems on to you, in her memory. The first two refer to her love of the performing arts.

The houselights have dimmed;
A hush descends upon us.
The curtain rises.

The stars are starring
In a play called “Heavenly”.
The audience bows.

Her sense of humor and appreciation of the double entendre shine through:
In the streetlights glow
Shadows stretch before my eyes.
Then…it dawned on me.

Perhaps her writing talent could have been developed if she had had a coach to encourage her to stretch and practice, just as Susan Boyle’s coach did for her.

What are your hidden talents? What could you develop if you spent time practicing and stretching yourself? If a couple of things popped into your mind, think about taking action on one of them. You may surprise yourself and everyone you know with what you can do. Even if you don’t look like you could.

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  • I love your friend’s 3rd haiku. How fantastic!
    once quiet talents
    heard only by their author
    brought on angel wings

    My 1st haiku in honor of your friend and to the beauty in each of us…may our light be seen while we have eyes to see it.

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