For my first post of 2011 I thought I’d write about someone that inspires me. The one, the only, Ms. Oprah Winfrey. She says that her brand is love and I believe her. Almost every time she opens her mouth she utters something that makes me want to be a better person. Oprah’s interview with Piers Morgan captured the essence of this iconic woman. Not only did she look beautiful, more importantly, her words were beautiful.
People who don’t remember their history are doomed to repeat it – It means the world to me that Oprah gets this. When Piers asked Oprah something along the lines of What’s it like to be Oprah Winfrey and be as loved and as powerful as you are?, her answer spoke volumes…from what I can remember she said that First and foremost I am a former negro that was born in the state of Mississippi, which was an apartheid state. It is not lost on me that for me to be sitting here with you right now and to be in the position that I am is an extraordinary thing that was unimaginable for a young negro girl. Oprah then went on to say that she knew that without the life’s work of Dr. Martin Luther King she wouldn’t be where she is today. For this internationally known and beloved figure – who in many eyes has transcended race- to make that completely honest statement is one of Oprah’s best qualities. She radiates sincerity and honesty.
Her self assurance is uplifting. For Oprah to bluntly say “I’m just not the marrying type” is a shot in the arm of women who choose to let their marriage status define them. Any single woman can tell you how hard it is to not be defined by your marriage status. Here is the most powerful woman in the world saying – it’s not for me. I was thoroughly impressed with this. I would like to one day marry the man that I love BUT I don’t want to be a woman that lets this desire define my life. As I type this I have the most recent episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta playing in my head and I’m thinking of Cynthia. This amazing beauty who had a modeling career, left it behind for the man that she loves (I’m all for taking leaps of faith!), and is now being confronted with all of the tell tale signs that she should NOT get married…no income coming in, investments gone bad, a man that doesn’t feel the need to include her in decisions about mutual investments…and still, all she can think about is getting married, ALL she can think about is a wedding. How sad is that? With everything crumbling – including trust in her man – she just wants a wedding. Oprah proclaims that she’s bigger than that…and by her example, we all know that we can be too.
The woman is larger than life but she still knows when to stay in her lane and she said as much to Piers. All of Piers’ attempts to goad Oprah into discussions about running for public office were met with Oprah’s assurance that she understood what she was good at – she said “I know how to stay in my lane.” How refreshing is that??? She understands her brand and what she means to people and because of that understanding we won’t see her running for president, making a perfume, selling a line of hair extensions etc. We can rest assured that she will deliver on her purpose. YES!!!
Oprah’s sister friend Gayle King signals to me that Oprah is who she says she is. The love and respect that Oprah shows for her sister friend is so familiar to me because it’s the same love that I have for my sister friends. Women that I love and respect that will have my back no matter what. It’s sad that many women don’t understand this love…choosing to define it as lesbian rather than seek real friendship bonds in their own lives. This friendship makes her down to earth, it makes me understand the kind of woman that she is.
Lastly, she spoke of observing peoples energy and said she was very keen on the energy of people that she lets in her life…she made a point of saying that she didn’t shout and she didn’t allow people around her to shout because “as soon as you shout you lose control over the message” – I might need to post that on my wall as a daily reminder!
I think the most important thing that we can take from Oprah is to show people who we are, through our words and actions. Granted, sometimes we will fail, but we can try.
Thanks for the inspiration Oprah – keep it coming.