Please forgive me for being late to the Susan Boyle pundit blogging bonanza. I was preoccupied.
But now I'm not.
So here's my two cents as an emotional intelligence and communication specialist on how and why Susan Boyle emotionally got to so many of us. She is a solution to the following conundrum of our times:
A skeptic is someone who is reluctant to believe; A cynic is someone who refuses to believe.
A skeptic is someone who once believed and was hurt and/or disappointed; A cynic is someone who once believed and was humiliated and/or betrayed.
However deep inside all skeptics and even most cynics is a deep abiding ache to believe again (because not believing leaves us safe and bitter or at least British), but do so without the fear of being hurt, disappointed, humiliated or betrayed.
And Susan Boyle is someone we can believe without any of the worries.
Furthermore, before she began to sing on Britain's Got Talent, we collectively laughed or even sneered at her nerve at thinking she could be a star, much less convince us she had any talent. Before she opened her mouth, we were all getting off on feeling superior by thinking how much above her (smarter, prettier, cooler, suaver) we were (not the healthiest way to feel better about oneself, but nevertheless a nearly universal practice).
Then she opened her mouth and you saw the immediate reaction on the judges' faces on our own. In less than five seconds, we went from trying to feel better about ourselves by looking down on her to identifying with her as an underdog triumphant.
Laughing at her one moment perched upon our own inflated view of ourselves to identifying with her the next and rooting for her as we would people to root for us.
It's enough to make a grown man cry and maybe even a cynic (are you listening Simon Cowell?) believe.