God bless Miss Boyle--I am happy she did well, though not convinced that the judges weren't expecting her that day. What bothers me though is the whole genre of shows that seem to be the modern day equivalent of the Roman Coliseum. No matter how Susan Boyle looked--and whether or not she had an iota of talent--she should not have been treated so rudely by leering judges or a jeering crowd.
One of the most important lessons a child can learn is the virtue of tact which, at base, is the art of not hurting others. I have had countless conversations with my children explaining the nuance of how certain actions, words, or facial expressions could insult other people, whether or not intended. This--I hope--will train them to be empathetic, sensitive, and kind-hearted.
It seems to me that a steady diet of "Britain's Got Talent" and the million other shows featuring judges mocking or insulting the unfortunate is already leading to a coarsening of society that will have long-term effect. (Can you imagine how a British audience fifty years ago would have treated a middle-aged woman on stage?)
Don't miss this profile of Commander Francis X. Castellano, native Long Islander, Knight of Columbus, and commander of the USS Bainbridge--the naval ship involved in the rescue of Captain Phillips from Somali Pirates last week.
While you are there, take a look around the website of "Fathers for Good," an initiative for men by the Knights of Columbus.
"On the one hand, the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe has for five centuries brought a message of hope, faith, peace, reconciliation and protection for the weakest, most vulnerable among us. On the other hand, each year, Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood kills approximately 300,000 unborn baby girls and boys in their abortion clinics scattered throughout the United States."
One of my favorite Irish ballads, “Dublin in the Rare Auld Times,” begins:
Raised on songs and stories,
Heroes of renown,
The passing tales and glories,
That once was Dublin town.
The hallowed halls and houses,
The haunting children’s rhymes,
That once was part of Dublin
in the rare auld times.
As often as I have heard these lines about Dublin long ago, my mind has lingered on the opening phrase, “raised on songs and stories.” There is something romantic, yet obviously true, about the idea behind it — that children are not only entertained by tales passed from one generation to the next, but nurtured and “raised on” them as well. Family stories in particular become part of who we are, an irreplaceable birthright.