Searching for Sugar Man

We can choose to be happy.

You may have heard of this movie (documentary really) or even better—have seen it already.  If not, I highly recommend it!

This inspiring movie tells the story of a musician from Detroit.  Sixto Rodriquez achieved little success with his music career in the U.S., while at the same time was more popular than The Beatles or Elvis in South Africa.  Rodriquez however, was not aware of his fame in South Africa and continued working in Detroit as a day laborer for most of his life.  Eventually he was made aware of his cult status in South Africa and toured there.  At 70, he is finally receiving acclaim for his songwriting/singing talent in the U.S., is touring here and is considering a new record deal.

As I watched the movie, I was struck by the fact that this man made a choice to be happy despite the fact that he didn’t achieve success in the music industry.  He could have been bitter and angry about the failure of his record label to promote him.  He could have chosen to view the world as “not fair” as he toiled at back breaking manual labor, day in and day out.  He might have chosen to feel sorry for himself because of his financial struggles.  Instead, he chose to be happy exactly where he was.  He raised his family and actively participated in the community in which they lived.  He saw no shame in poverty, no shame in performing manual labor, no shame in not finding success as a musician.  At 70, he is happy to have the opportunity to tour at last and share his music.  He’s happy to have some money to share with his family and friends.

The other aspect of the movie that strikes me is the fact that we never know what might be just around the corner.  Hope is alive!  When we stay true to who we are and when we continue to do what makes our spirit come alive, there is always hope.  This is a man who stayed true to himself, who continued to focus on feeding his own spirit and who finally found a way to express his gifts on a broader stage.  We all have this same capability.  We sometimes don’t acknowledge our gifts or get discouraged about how to use them, but they still exist nonetheless.  It’s never too late to follow your heart.

This man’s story could be your story!  I hope you’ll get a chance to watch the movie and be inspired!

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