I am typically quite cynical. Whether it is because of my Capricorn lineage (aren't we the most cynical sign?) or personal life experiences, others have criticized this often-unflattering trait in me. So, some were not surprised when I posted the following update to my Facebook page yesterday:

"I can't believe that the Susan Boyle video is still virally spiraling around the net - it's great, but not THAT great!"

It wasn't long before commenters began absolutely agreeing or ripping me a new a**hole:

"Couldn't agree more"


"OMG, you are the ANTI-CHRIST for saying that!!!"

"Every time I watch it i cry a little bit..."

"I'm at starbucks in Dubai, and the guy next to me picking his drink is raving about to his friends...WEIRD."

And finally, my friend Sam summed up all the hysteria:

"What's great is the collective embarassment in ourselves as viewers as we wrote her off when she walked on stage only to have that smugness wiped off our face when she sang. Humility, in regular doses, is a good tonic."

Sam's perspective made me think. How often do we discount others due to some self-inflicted smugness? I have to admit when I first watched Susan sing "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables" this past Saturday morning, I thought she was going to be terrible. I assumed the worst and was pleasantly surprised.

Within 48 hours, many others agreed. Susan Boyle had become a household name.

My friend Dari's observation at Starbuck's in Dubai reinforces this observation in two ways: one, YouTube and the net has made the world a much smaller audience for people like Ms. Boyle and it is almost impossible to NOT know about her; and two, Starbuck's is EVERYWHERE (OK - couldn't avoid my own cynicism here).

And in the end, this same cynicism put me in my place. The same cynicism that you all have that has fueled the video's popularity over the past week. As Sam perfectly wrote, "humility, in regular doses, is a good tonic." Quite an appropriate tag line for a site called Tonic, don't you think?

So, what have I learned? I am reminded not to judge a book by its cover. My belief that we all have unrealized goodness and talent is reinforced. And, most importantly, I have learned that in the midst of the failing economy and other all-important world problems, we need people like Susan Boyle providing a surprise happy ending. Kind of like a plane landing in the Hudson and everyone surviving. At this time in our history, we are loving unexpected heroes!

And our cynicism is in the driver's seat. Without it, we would not realize the much-needed humility in our lives.

If you are one of the three people in the world who hasn't viewed Susan, you can find her video here.

Photo: A woman watches a YouTube clip of Scottish charity worker Susan Boyle's appearance on television programme 'Britain's Got Talent', in London on April 16, 2009. A 47-year-old Scottish charity volunteer who claims never to have been kissed has become an international media sensation amid reports she is set to cash in with a quick record deal. By Thursday a video clip of Susan Boyle's stunning singing debut on the 'Britain's Got Talent' television show last weekend had been viewed by over 12 million people on YouTube, and rising fast. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

From Dan Estabrook of Tonic

Author's Bio: 

Intent.com is a premier wellness site and supportive social network where like-minded individuals can connect and support each others' intentions. Founded by Deepak Chopra's daughter Mallika Chopra, Intent.com aims to be the most trusted and comprehensive wellness destination featuring a supportive community of members, blogs from top wellness experts and curated online content relating to Personal, Social, Global and Spiritual wellness.