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Every person in my family laughed at me tonight because I rented a documentary movie on Justin Beiber. And that is because I am a 53-year old lady who does not listen to any particular music, and particularly not Justin Beiber. I think they were embarrassed for me. But I seem to find a way to connect singers, and the hold they have on me, with kids and how I think they should be treated, so there is some logic to this. If it was up to me every parent would have the ability to notice the natural talent in their children, and then encourage and support that to the point that their child could express himself so clearly the rest of us could not help but listen. Every child would grow to share his gifts, whatever they were. That’s the real reason why I like a movie about Justin Beiber. I didn’t know it before I watched, but I learned that he had parents, who were teenagers when he was born, and who were not even together when he was growing up, but were able to appreciate his abilities and encourage them despite all that. He could not stop himself from singing and performing even as a toddler. He was himself, pure and simple, and those around him let him be. It’s the thing I wish for all children.

For me singers represent any of us. Their common element, regardless of whether they are Mary J. Blige or Justin Beiber or the soloist in the choir at church, is that they have the ability to express their feelings in a way that seems so much more satisfying than the everyday stuff the rest of us try.

If I get the chance I will return in another life as a singer. A really good one.