For 25 years, Oprah has brought us viewers into her living room to talk. And we discussed everything: controversial subjects to funny ones that made you cry from laughing. For 25 years, Oprah has been the face and voice of those who didn’t have the privilege of having such a platform. For 25 years, she gracefully delivered heart-felt stories about everyday people.
“Understanding that one principle, that everyone wants to be heard, has allowed me to hold the microphone for you all theses years with the least amount of judgment.”
I’m very sad to see her show go but I’m glad she left while she was still hot. Classy. Yet I can’t help but think how daytime tv will never be the same without her usual 4pm EST slot. Although I was not able to consistently watch her show, I’ve always admired her, specifically for five reasons:
1. Her work ethic. Can you believe for 25 years she’s never missed one day of work? Talk about a drive to succeed. And that she did.
2. Her compassion. Oprah has given millions of her money to charity. As a humanitarian, she gave opportunities to young girls in Africa and across the globe the chance to educate themselves amongst many other good works. She helped young men attend college at Morehouse. And she will give her money away when she dies. She is truly the mother of many. To live your entire life as a servant is remarkable and deserves acknowledgment.
3. Her private nature. I don’t care what anyone says but as a high-profile celebrity, you really should be careful with how much information you divulge to the media. The tabloids have spun so many malicious stories regarding her weight, her sexual relations with her best friend Gayle and her life long partner Stedman. It makes me angry that people who have nothing better to do would criticize her personal life as if what she does behind closed doors is any of their business. Why is what she chooses to do anyone’s business is beyond me. Whom and how she chooses to love is under the direction of three people: her, her lover and her God. I admire the fact that amidst all the hatred and backlash, she stood her ground and kept her private life private.
4. Her transparency. Although some things should remain private, there
is a bit of transparency needed in order to connect with your audience. She was very personable. Oprah’s story is not one that has not been heard before. Black girl growing up in the back woods of Mississippi. But hearing it come from someone with the spirit like Oprah makes it all the more amazing.
5. Her humility. She could have changed who she was. She could have done a reality show. She could have told everyone her business and flaunt how much money she makes. She could have had a horrible ego. But if she did any of that, no one would like her. Be humble or be humbled.
“People often ask me, What is the secret of success of the show? How have we last 25 years? I nonjokingly say, ‘My team and Jesus.’”
If I ever got to meet her, I’d simply hug her and say thank you for being who you are. Thank you for being just who God intended for you to be.
“Start embarcing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.”
To read her final show transcript (or to have it as a keep sake as I have), click here.