26.5.11

Day 318. The I Can't Believe I'm Writing This One.

Let's get one thing straight: I can't stand Oprah Winfrey. I'm not going into a ton of detail, but I have over the course of her 25 years, found her to get a bit full of herself and preachy among other things.

So, I didn't really care when she said her show was ending. I didn't care when she said she was starting her own network. And, I was really getting sick of the whole "20 shows left" "18 shows left" "we will miss you, Oprah!" thing. But I did break down and DVR the last 10 or so shows, mainly because I was intrigued with the guests she had on there (I was actually impressed with the James Frey interview). So, since they were sitting there, I sat down last night to watch the "Two Day Farewell SPECTACULLAAAAARRR". With wine. I was prepared to be drunk in minutes from having to dull the pain...I just wanted to see Kristin Chenoweth sing.

But, as I watched, my opinion changed. And, if I believe what I say I do in this blog then I do have to acknowledge Oprah here today. Because, as I watched my beloved Kristin sing "For Good", what looked like hundreds of young men - graduates of Morehouse University, and more importantly, recipients of Oprah Winfrey Scholarships - streamed onto the stage. I will admit that I shed more than one tear at the power of that moment. You could read on each of their faces the pure and simple gratitude they had for what Oprah had done for them. Even with my issues with the woman, I've never questioned that she's done quite a bit of good. She's got a ton of money that she earned every cent of and she has chosen to spend quite a lot of that on charitable endeavors. And those men, as some of the recipients of that generosity, were there to say THANK YOU. Most importantly, they were there to seize their opportunity to express their gratitude to someone who had literally changed many of their lives at a time when she could receive it. They were a living example of what I wish everyone could do.

What this whole blog is about is encouraging others to express to those in your life - fleeting and forever - what they mean to you while they can hear you. We all deserve such a gift. Because I do believe everyone is capable of making a difference...and I believe that should be acknowledged.

Not only did Oprah get to be the recipient of that exercise but she allowed herself to receive it. Yes, sometimes you could see the practiced behavior of someone who's been on TV for 25 years, but sometimes, like in the Morehouse moment, you saw her open and honest and truly realizing the impact of her work. These shows taught me an important missing piece of the puzzle of this project, "Make sure that if you are fortunate enough to hear the good you've done, that you allow yourself to hear it, take it in, and BELIEVE it".

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