Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The audacity of hope

I am posting a clip of Paul Potts singing Opera from the 'Britain's Got Talent' competition. The story of Paul is the story of the audacity of hope (a phrase I borrow from Barrack Obama's famous 2004 keynote speech for John Kerry and which is also a 'must-listen'). Paul Potts, till just a couple of weeks back, worked as a phone salesman. But he always dreamt of making a career in singing.

As Paul was about to begin his audition for Britain's got talent, one could see that the judges were almost sure he would not come up with anything special. But, really, delving a bit deeper, I realized that I too was prejudiced against him at some unknown level. I wanted him to do well but didn't really feel he would. What is it inside us, that makes us discount people or their talent without so much as giving them a single change to prove themselves? What Paul reminds us is to give people a chance to show the world who they really are, before dismissing them. Here is what Paul came up with that day:

There are still some doubting Thomases who question his real talent and some even compared him unfavorably to Pavarotti, the famous opera singer. No doubt singing is about technique and style, but singing is also about emotions, about believing in the song, about making your audience feel the song and winning their hearts. And thats what Paul did. Needless to say, he won the competition: