The other night I watched the movie, “Florence Foster Jenkins” with Meryl Streep playing the part. I had never heard of her and yet she did have quite a following as it turned out. She was not particularly pretty and well, not the best singer (understatement).
However, I’m not a movie critic or an opera critic, let alone one to judge talent. She did have trouble staying on key and timing was an issue. She had a sweet husband, played by Hugh Grant and then there was her pianist. He was a talented young man who was so patient and kind. She was laughed off the stage and openly humiliated because of her lack of skill and talent.
In many minds in the movie and probably in her life, she was a laughing stock and not taken seriously. My point in this blog, however is to say that she did not let that stop her. She was encouraged by her husband constantly and was able to fill Carnegie Hall in her final concert.
The night of that concert, she went home and to bed exhausted. She had a syphilis and lived with it for 60 years, unheard of. The following day she had lunch with some very supportive friends, her husband and pianist. One reporter gave her a review that was devastating and her husband and pianist had gone out early to buy up all the copies to avoid her seeing what was said about her. Other sources were kinder.
During lunch, she left to go to the ladies room and stepped outside to find a copy of the New York Post with the bad review. She found one in the trash sadly and read what was written regarding her performance. She ran into the hotel where she was having lunch and collapsed. With her husband by her side in her home, in her bed, she said the most remarkable thing. She told her husband, “they may say I can’t sing, but they can’t say I didn’t sing”.
That stuck with me. How many times do we let what others say or think stop us? We stop ourselves when we listen to other’s opinions that are contrary to what is in our hearts. Maybe we don’t sing the best, dance the best, paint the best, you get my point. What matters is what we think and believe.
Remember those words and even if they say you can’t do something, don’t let it be said you didn’t!
Now, go, do, be the best you....