I wasn’t a fan. I wasn’t a hater. I just figured he was another kid who made it big without much effort. I’ve never been bamboozled by celebrities – well, except for Wayne & Janet Gretzky!
After recommendations by several people in my world, I succumbed to watching the ‘Justin Bieber – Never Say Never’ movie. I laughed, I teared up, and it gave me goosebumps. Self-admitted. There is so much more to this phenomenon that is Justin than meets the public eye, and it fascinates me.
Pattie Mallette, Justin’s mom, was 18 when he was born. As a single parent myself, I think about what that must have been like. Sleepless nights, judgements by others, difficult choices, emotional distress caused by a future forever altered, nevermind all the other things that simply come with being a parent. I somehow don’t think Pattie thought, “Okay, I’m pregnant and I’m going to raise a star!”
I’m certain it wasn’t an easy time telling her parents that she was going to have a baby. For her or for them. They had 2 choices – to tell her she was on her own, or to support her decision to keep and raise him. Amazing parents she has, clearly, and that generates a whole other story in my mind.
As I watched the movie for the first time (yes I’ve watched it more than once), my mind was fixated on her – Pattie – and how much of this story really belongs to her. Is Justin gifted and talented? No question. Did she nurture that in him? Absolutely. Was she rich when she encouraged him to be all he could be? I’m guessing not by the story they shared. Did she face challenges as she was trying to become an adult herself? You bet. Did she example hard work and perseverence to her son? She must have. Do I think she’s shed a few tears along the way? Yup.
I think about those things and shake my head. There are a lot of us who could stand to observe her strength, her character, her values and her sacrifice as we attempt to raise our own children. Our North American culture so easily gives up, we hit the ‘next’ button in our brains, and we are inherently selfish. As I consider my own children who have faced some pretty severe circumstances in their young lives, I have been inspired and challenged by Pattie and her family.
I’ve always told my kids they can be whatever they want. I don’t squash their dreams but I have truly not done my utmost to nurture those dreams, no matter the cost. In the months since I’ve watched the movie and as I’ve faced my own challenges, I often think how Pattie handled her circumstances and it propels me to move forward.
Don’t get me wrong, Justin’s pretty cool too. How can he not be when his favourite colour is purple?! It actually still gives me goosebumps when I hear him talk about dreams. I rewound a part in the movie for my kids to listen to again…my daughter says I rewound it again, and again, and again. “Let me ask you a question. What do you tell those people who say you will never make it or be successful, that you will never live your dreams, or that you will never make it to Madison Square Garden? Here’s what I tell them…..NEVER say NEVER!!!” (May not be exact wording, don’t have the movie here at the moment.)
Who do you think he learned that from?!
Food for Thought
“I’m looking forward to influencing others in a positive way. My message is you can do anything if you just put your mind to it.” ~ Justin Bieber