I usually spend a few hours of my weekends browsing the internet reading articles and watching videos of things I didn’t have time to do over the course of the week. I think of myself as a positive person so I usually keep it to topics that are more uplifting and inspiring than negative.
This past weekend, I was on YouTube and came across a video from a Korean talent show (similar format to America’s Got Talent) where the title was “Homeless Boy Steals the Talent Show.” The quick background to the story is that Sung-Bong Choi, the young singer on stage was abandoned at 3 years old and forced to live in an orphanage where he was abused over and over again. At 5, he decided to run away and never come back. He would sell gum and energy drinks while living on the streets so that he could eat and get by. Sleeping was done in public restrooms and in stairwells at night. At one point, he was even sold to someone so that they could use him for manual labour. He told a story about a night he was selling energy drinks at a club and saw a singer performing on stage. He was in awe by their voice and how it could capture the audience made up of thousands of fans. While he was on stage, he told the judges that he “wasn’t really good at singing but that he like it.” They gave him the nod and he began.
As I’m sure you can guess his performance was amazing to say the least. He had the crowd on their feet and judges in tears. His opera style voice had captured every person in that crowd similarly to the performer he heard in the club many years ago. One judge offered to professionally train him no matter how far he went on the show she believed in him so much.
Watching this video has done a few things for me. First, I think it puts into perspective how lucky most of us are. At 5, I was watching cartoons on Saturday morning or getting ready to go skate on the outdoor rink with my family. The thought of running away and survival didn’t even exist in my brain. I was able to go to school and get a great education, I have a nice place to call home, and an amazing family that is there for me no matter what. Overall, I have a pretty great life. Of course I have large goals and ambitions that I work towards every day, but sometimes you have to take a step back and think to yourself just how lucky you are to even have access to some of the more basic things in life.
Another immediate lesson from the video is about working hard and never giving up. Look what Sung-Bong Choi overcame to get where he is today. I’m sure it wasn’t easy and I can promise there were times when he wanted to just give up on life but he kept pushing. He pushed and pushed until he managed to get his primary and middle school equivalent certificate so that he could go to high school. I bet that if people took even 30% of his motivation, they would accomplish things they probably couldn’t ever believe was possible.
In all honesty, I don’t know where Sung-Bong Choi is today or how far his singing career has taken him but I do know that his 8 minute video on YouTube has left a lasting impression on the 63,000,000 people that have seen it. As a matter of fact, how well he is doing now isn’t relevant at this point. Someone like him that’s willing to work that hard, stay focused and determined will end up doing great things.
When you are having a stressful day or things aren’t going your way take a moment to look at the scenario. Are things really that bad? Sometimes they may be, but most of the time it just may put things into perspective that at the end of the day, you still have an amazing life around you and a lot to be thankful for.
Here is a link to the video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ46Ot4_lLo