And gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Susan Boyle: Turning Disability Into Ability

Susan Boyle is receiving a lot of attention after her performance on the television show Britain's Got Talent. Her appearance and her personality caused the judges and the audience members to dismiss her, to snicker, and to laugh at her. But then she started singing. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Ms. Boyle's Cinderella story has captured the world's attention for many reasons. Last week, she was even the subject of Cardinal Sean O'Malley's homily at the Boston Catholic Women's Conference in Massachusetts. We are captivated by the extraordinary story of this gentle woman, but many don't know that Susan Boyle has had a lifelong history with disabilities.

Ms. Boyle has learning disabilities as a result of oxygen deprivation at birth. In a recent interview with CBS she talked about being bullied, teased and abused for being "slow. " Though the scars remain today, she added, "The ones who made fun of me are now nice to me, so I may have won them round."

Susan Boyle has clearly won us all round. Her performance was a testimony to the human spirit as much as it was a display of her beautiful talent. This never-been-kissed woman whom many considered a "throw-away" wants very much to highlight her disabilities.

"I was slightly brain damaged at birth, and I want people like me to see that they shouldn’t let a disability get in the way. I want to raise awareness -- I want to turn my disability into ability."

To quote Britain's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan, "Susan, you have the voice of an angel."

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