• Thomas A. Wilson

She's Beautiful, He's Ignorant

A love song caught my ear a while back. Well, it’s almost a love song. Released in 2005, You’re Beautiful by James Blunt made it to number one in 11 countries. It’s the only song by a Brit to top the Latin America Top 40. Not bad for a song about an ignorant guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the song, I even sing along, but both song and music video are kind of pitiful. Let me explain.

The haunting tune is about a man who lets love slip through his fingers. The lyrics were inspired when Blunt saw an old girlfriend on the London subway. She was with a new guy. Blunt laments, “You’re beautiful, it’s true. I saw your face in a crowded place, and I don’t know what to do, ‘cause I’ll never be with you.”

The song yields two clues as to why Jimmy is on the outside looking in. The opening line goes, “My life is brilliant. My love is pure.” Hmmm, Mr. Blunt’s high estimation of himself is a little odd. And his state of cognitive impairment is troubling. “Yeah, she caught my eye as we walked on by. She could see from my face that I was flying high.” Blunt admitted he was under the influence of illegal drugs.

So, a guy impressed with himself and high on dope, sees a beautiful former girlfriend, and comes face to face with what he has lost. But it’s too late. Like a lot of men, he didn’t see it coming. Men can be like that—blind to what they have until they don’t have it.

The associated music video shows Blunt removing his coat, shoes, and shirt. After arranging his possessions neatly, he jumps from a cliff into the depths of icy water—an implied suicide. In the ultimate act of selfishness, the song’s main character isn’t restrained by the love of at least one woman: his mother. Yet, the fictitious character kills himself over the lack of love from another woman. In Blunt’s own words, “You’re Beautiful “is “kind of miserable.”

Before we relegate this parable to the artsy musings of a British musician with a taste for illegal drugs, let’s peek under the proverbial hood. Many married men all over the world are ignorant of what they’ve been entrusted. Fortune has gifted them with a fully functional female to play house with, and they desecrate the gift with irresponsible behaviors, verbal abuse, domestic violence, pornography, and infidelity. Dull with selfishness, they blunder along, leaving a gaping hole in the heart of a woman, the mind of a child, and the social fabric of a community. It’s pitiful.

Like the character in the song, these same men will someday see clearly—not just the debris of bludgeoned marriages, but the transcendent beauty of what might have been. They’ll recognize what they ignored.

And there won’t be any cliff from which to jump.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. To borrow lyrics from another song, Southtown, “It ain’t got to be like this.” It. Ain’t. Got. To. Be. Like. This.

Thinking drives behavior. Change your thinking and you change your life. If you’ve had enough, follow the link to Authentic Man School: A Practical Guide for Next-Level Living. Then, synthesize the material—while she still loves you.


Th(e) tendency to “agree” with things that get R-complex’s attention can be both positive and negative. The desire to fight can lead to either heroism or bullying. Fleeing can produce cleverness or cowardice. The need to feed inspires both producer and moocher. The procreative urge can manifest in faithfulness or piggishness. Whatever we believe in relation to these deep primal mental constructs becomes a feedback loop that filters what we take in and energizes what we put out.

Affirmation of the week: I see my significant other. Today and every day, I really see him/her. And having seen him/her, I release redemptive words and actions tailored to meet his/her needs—because I believe real adults take partnership seriously.

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