Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Farewell to Oprah Winfrey Show

If I had but one wish, it would be that a kind person would help me figure out how to use my DVR that has been collecting dust in my entertainment cabinet. (Well of course I'd love to win the lottery but I'm being realistic of my odds).  For those that know me, I don't ask without making attempts to figure out  a solution myself. (Supposedly I need a cable box which I don't subscribe to, that still may be the problem). How I wish I had my old chubby TV with the VHS recorder!

Today is the last day of the Oprah Winfrey show.  While I never taped an Oprah segment, I always watched whenever I was home sick or on a holiday.  Oprah Winfrey is so many things.
She's a powerful media mogul. She's insightful, articulate and most of all, she geuninely helps others. Now I may not have always agreed with her on some social and political issues, but Oprah is a successful, powerful woman willing to share insightful lessons and experiences. Learning from her imparting wisdom is valuable to anyone who wants to grow whether personally and/or professional. It's free advice. Take it!
I dragged up a chair to make myself a "front row seat" but failed to bring the tissues. The segment was not a spirited show of materialistic giveaways.  It was an episode of reflection. It was classic Oprah.

She began by encouraging us, her audience, to follow our passion, to continue believing in our cause. No matter what the cause may be. I knew she meant more than just charity work. It could be a person battling an addiction trying to improve him or herself, coming forward about abuse, learning financial discipline and not overspending and getting into unncessary debt... the list is almost infinite. 

Oprah also reminded us, just as she started her first TV job with no physical audience, "You have a reach, an audience and while your reach may vary in size whether it's 20 people..." or 20 million viewers,  we all have our platform, our own Oprah Winfrey Show.  She's absolutely right. Oprah encouraged us to never stop believing in our cause.

So during the commercial break, I reflected on my cause. Yes my reach is 20 people. But one day it will be 200 million.

 Like a 30 second movie trailer, my mind raced with a montage of my efforts to help voiceless,  homeless animals in my immediate neighborhood. The 20 homeless cats that live outdoors, and thanks to others, they live humanely.  Capture kittens, nurture them and find them homes, create flyers, distribute flyers, talk to neighbors in the hallways and elevators,  capture new cats for spaying/neutering, create a website, recruit volunteers to feed the cats, take cats for shots, ask for donations, keep recruiting volunteers, buy cat food twice a week, capture new friendly cat, ask for donations... my heart is fulfilled. Never have I worked so hard for free and felt so rewarded. I'm on the right path and making a difference.  The cats are smiling, purring and doing their happy feet tap dance. They really do! My heart is smiling.

Next Oprah shared her most valuable lesson-- the energy you emit is the energy you will receive. She made reference to the character that Whoopie Goldberg played as Ms. Sealy in the Color Purple, a black woman abused by her husband who had the courage to finally walk away, even while he threatened her. As Ms. Sealy steps into the car, she turns around and holds out arm and two fingers like a V prong toward his eyes, foretelling her abusive husband that he will receive the same treatment he bore on her.

The next segment after the break was her revelation that no matter if someone is good or bad, struggling or challenged, everyone wants to be VALIDATED.  "Do you see me? Do you hear me?  Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants validation." Indeed she is so right.

Oprah recognized her 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan, who was sitting in the audience, as the first person to liberate her.  Allowing Oprah to be herself, to pray in class...

A ridge of tears formed on my lower eyelid. Oprah and I share something in common. It was also my teachers, actually they were nuns, that helped me understand how special I was to God and the world. Specifically it was Sister Phil (short for Philomena), one of the strictest nuns I have known, but I've been told even as an adult (and affirmed in my Meyers Brigg test) that I possess a rare insight.  I knew Sister Phil had a soft spot despite her ruly exterior that fits the Catholic school stereotype. Sister Phil always told us during religion class, that we were each unique. And that God loved us all. It wasn't just our parents telling us we're special, but the strength and wisdom in her eyes shined, I knew God was speaking through her.  She encouraged us not to let peer pressure deflate our self worth or degrade our self worth.  She offered the analogy of when the people who one day praised Jesus in the streets, all turned against him just days later. It was the popular thing to do.  But does it make it right? That story, that analogy stayed with me. Jesus was good a man, with good intentions. He did not deserve to be crucified.  I understood well, despite my shortcomings, that God loved me. While I may not have been popular like my younger, attractive sister, I knew I had something to offer the world and God. And I couldn't wait to fast-forward the teenage years to discover my own talents and gifts and more importantly, how I would make a positive difference.

Thank you Oprah for the memory.

It was no surprise that Oprah repeatedly acknowledged God "HE had a hand in all this," she started. "God is love and life. God is always speaking to us. Sometimes it may be whispers but listen to it. "What's whispering to you now?"  I thank God everyday for my beautiful home, my health, my family, my outdoor companions and the opportunity to serve HIM. The silver lining in my hardships, is that I learned to enjoy the daily, simpler things--the view from my balcony, a homemade meal, the selfless love of homeless creatures.  My life is very fulfilling thanks to God.

Lastly Oprah showed a black and white photo of a young black girl, exposing her belly "Who would have thought a little black girl in rural Mississippi would end up here."  The tears came rushing like a thunderous waterfall.  Why didn't I grab the Kleenex tissues at the last commercial break?!  Indeed anything is possible.  If you ever take my Art Deco walking tour, I talk about the women who contributed to the foundation of Miami (Julia Tuttle), the preservation of Miami Beach's Art Deco buildings (Barbara Capitman), the savior of the Everglades (Marjory Stoneman Douglas), the growth of downtown Miami as a business community (Mary Brickell).  One person can make a difference!

I hope to follow in their footsteps. Whether helping homeless animals, or small business owners, and just following my dream to build my own small business, by lassoing my talents as a marketing professional, writer and activist, I hope to leave the world a little better.

Now where's that darn Samsung DVR manual? Maybe there's a way it will work with my new Samsung flatscreen TV? Anyone? God?

2 comments:

Melissa Blake said...

have you tried looking at dvr's web site? i'm sure they'd have directions on there! Good luck! xoxo

Blog Sisters said...

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for stopping by. Yes I have studied the manual and website. Apparently I need a cable box but I don't subscribe to any premium cable channels. I get free basic cable and don't have the need or time to pay for more. There has to be another way!

Christine