It is not uncommon to find people who abandoned their dreams because of the fear of criticisms. Indubitably, criticism is like a huge punch on the face though the intentions for such disapproval or censure may differ, it could create strong feelings of discouragement which in turn could result in discontinuing one’s goals or ambitions for a while or even forever. There are people who remain un-flinched in the pursuit of their dreams notwithstanding the magnitude of criticisms they encounter. But what attributes do these people possess that they never allowed condemnation to stand on the way to achieving their dreams? After an encounter with a movie titled “Florence Foster Jenkins” reflecting the life of a woman called Florence Foster Jenkins, I discovered that ‘passion’ has to be one of those traits.

The movie is a compendious screenplay on the life of Florence Foster Jenkins. She was a 20th American socialite and supporter of music; she was mocked than appreciated by those who heard her music. Meryl Streep did an excellent job of portraying Florence Foster Jenkins’ character so well, that you could easily mock her poor singing ability and yet empathize with her. Instead of producing pleasant sounds as expected from any musician, she often produced alternating sounds that resulted in discordant music which ended up amusing her audience, and that made the movie hilarious. While watching the movie, I laughed so hard that I had to stop the movie for a while to catch my breath.

I stopped laughing when I discerned her genuine passion for music. She wasn’t a good singer and yet she didn’t stop singing. The passion she had for music was so perceptible that even her close associates who obviously knew how bad she sang couldn’t tell her because they believed that music was just as paramount as oxygen that she needed to stay alive. Her doggedness even in the face of criticisms would make you wonder if she wasn’t aware of the criticisms. Explaining her passion, she mentioned to her close friends that even if people say she couldn’t sing, they would never say she didn’t sing. She knew what she wanted and she didn’t let anyone get in her way.

After the movie, I read lot of articles based on her music career and I was amazed to know how much people had written about her passion for music even though she was known to be a terrible singer. Florence Foster Jenkins is still a subject of discourse more than seventy years after she died. She is an inspiration to many because her life exemplifies being resolute in doing what you are passionate about. Besides the fact that Florence Foster Jenkins and I are generations apart and we never had the opportunity to meet each other, I am truly grateful to her for following her passion, her life remains an example that anyone can achieve their goals as long they believe in themselves. I have learnt from Florence Foster Jenkins to be courageous in the face of criticisms and to never quit doing what you are passionate about. If Florence had quit, there would not have been biographical documentaries, pictures and data about her and I probably wouldn’t have written about her.


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