I have often thought that the Underdog Archetype should be higher up on any list of such energies. The Underdog is that ordinary person doing extraordinary things. The Underdog comes from behind and through steadfast endurance could still possibly take the prize. He/she may not be the best at what he/she does, but each one deserves to be recognized as a winner in their own right. And probably more important, we all recognize that individual because we often find him/her within ourselves.
How many times do we, in our lives, stop and whisper something like, “Why am I doing this, no one cares or even understands.” Yet, for whatever reason, we care enough to continue and often do simply because it is important to our own person and how we see ourselves and our place in the world which we inhabit. That is the energy of the Underdog, often the doings of an unsung hero. Someone who is simply an anonymous blip on the radar of others.
On the same token, we often identify with such energy. Because there are only so many positions at the top of the heap, most of us either accept, or resign ourselves, to going unnoticed. We may wish it were different, but we usually know better and proceed according to our own dictates regardless. If the only reason for doing a thing was public recognition of that, very little would ever get accomplished. And, we do recognize that experience in those around us.
Nowhere was that more apparent than on the American Idol finale last night. Kris Allen won. Did America get it wrong? I don’t think so. Yes, Adam Lambert was definitely the powerhouse vocalist throughout this past season. He also had the flash and sparkle of an already established artist on many levels. He moved onstage with Kiss and Queen as though he’d been doing it for years, while Kris Allen looked bewildered and star-struck to be standing that close to that much fame and glitter.
That did not, however, stop him from performing and making himself and his talent heard. There were a few times when he simply grinned and I thought that he knew he was going to be upstaged and didn’t care because he was there and partaking in a once in a lifetime experience. He was game despite the odds. And that is definitely the energy of the Underdog. That willingness to go ahead and simply do what one does because it is there to do. And incredibly satisfying just in the doing of it.
American Idol is a singing competition. But, more important, it is the giving of an opportunity to someone who might not otherwise receive such a chance. Placed in the hands of a voting audience that identifies with the Underdog energy, it becomes much clearer that that audience still holds tight to the American Dream and its promise to each and every one of its citizens, no matter how tattered or faded that dream might have become. Not only that, but will put out the energy necessary to see that dream come true for one of its own.
Adam Lambert is an already proven star. Kris Allen is a hopeful. And I happen to like what that says about us as a country and a nation. I like the fact that it says we have certain ideals that we adhere to. That we recognize steadfastness and enduring effort and will reward it. That doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy and support the glamour and sparkle that occurs on occasion. But, we are also more than willing to give our support to the Underdog because we recognize that he deserves the chance to prove himself over time.
It can be and is painful to find oneself in the Underdog position. Yet, for the very reason I stated earlier, most of us are in that place. What does that really mean? It means that we have a choice to continue, or simply let go and admit defeat. We may think that giving up and quitting only affects our own personal space. That isn’t true. It affects our world and the way it functions. Our despair and depression reaches out and touches everyone we come in contact with.
And on the same token, our willingness to continue despite whatever obstacles or odds are encountered, gives hope and strength to anyone we happen to interact with. It might very well be the only ray of hope one or more of them finds in his/her daily existence. And, I think, that is the reason we voted for Kris Allen. We all want that chance, some form of that opportunity, so we gave it to another individual just because we could.
That in turn says something incredible about us. I think it says that we have heart, as well as soul.