The weather in my home town this week was an awful lot like the news about the economy. First it was sunny and lovely. Two days later we had hail that looked like snow as it covered the ground. The next day, we had snow -- big white flakes the size of quarters -- for several hours. A day later it was cool but not cold, followed by today which offered up full sun and 75 degrees. I took a chance and moved my topsy-turvy back outside from over my kitchen sink. But I covered the tomato plants tonight, because no one seems to have any idea what's going on with our silly weather that's all over the map.
It's a snapshot of what we've all experienced with the economy for the past year. The stock market was down, way down in early March. Now it's back up but job loss is still a concern and housing starts are down. People are saving more, spending less, and no one can figure out why gas prices are climbing at the pump when the barrel rate is at a record low.
An unlikely star emerged this week to offer up an unexpected bright spot in a dark economy. Her name is Susan Boyle and her audition on Britain's Got Talent is the biggest thing on YouTube. Indeed she has the voice of an angel, but I don't think that's why she's a worldwide hit. I think she's a hit because we all feel like she looks -- ordinary and imperfect. And yet inside of her is something so unbelievably beautiful that it pushes her to the front of the line.
This economy and the state of the job market have brought out the Susan Boyle in each of us. And for those in desperate need of inspiration (and jobs!), her voice may have offered up just enough encouragement to help keep going. (Not to mention the fact that the words of “I Dreamed a Dream” describe exactly how a lot of people are feeling.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnmbJzH93NU Is it possible that while we stood up and cheered for her, on some level we were also cheering for ourselves?
How long will this economic winter last? Will it snow again just when we think spring should be well under way? Maybe it will. But like a candle in the dark, even those most uncertain of what tomorrow holds next can for one brief moment, stop and listen to the music, and feel somewhat assured that despite the odds, there is hope, there is light, there is music -- and if Susan Boyle can captivate the world, we too can find a talent or two to share.
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