Lets get something clear first.
I was NEVER an Oprah fan … not intentionally – but as a teen I never watched talk shows, and as an adult – ehh – the Oprah thing never stuck. Only very recently did I start to watch the typical talk show – but by that time Oprah’s ratings were already dropping, her shows and guest stars didn’t interest me, and I fell in love with Ellen Degeneres instead
However, the last few days, I couldn’t help but watch the farewell episodes of the Oprah Winfrey Show. For 2 hours on Monday and Tuesday, a multitude of celebrities came out to pay tribute to the Queen of Talk – and on Wednesday was an hour long “farewell.”
So, if I was never an avid fan, why am I writing about this mogul? Well, a few things struck me over the last few days as I watched people marvel at her legacy and worship at her feet, hence it inspired me to blog! And here we go….
1) Everyone has a Calling.
This is the number one thing that Oprah spoke about today and how important this is. Every single person no matter who you are, where you come from, or how weird/bad/interesting your background – YOU have a calling and a platform. It’s the thing that gives you passion. It’s something you love to do, and would do it for free for the rest of your life if you had the chance. It might be something small – such as being a good listener, to something as big as being on national television. Regardless of what it is, it is our duty in life to find out what that calling is and go out and do it!
From a Jewish standpoint – this couldn’t be more true. We always learn that every soul in the world has a mission in life. The Torah doesn’t refer to it as a “calling” (I’ve heard that term used on the movie Sister Act when the nuns in the convent discuss their “call” to work for G-d) but from a small age, us Jewish kids know that we have a job to do in this world. This alone should give anyone the confidence that they have a purpose and meaning. When you get that feeling of “what’s the point?” – We know – deep down – there IS a point – there IS a reason – and for as long as we are here on this green planet, we must work to find that purpose.
2) I was born for Greatness
Years ago, in an interview, Barbara Walters asked Oprah how its possible that a ‘colored’ girl from the farms in Mississippi could now be where she is today with a huge empire. Not missing a beat, Oprah answered “I always knew I was destined for greatness.” Wow! What an answer! MANY people were beyond unimpressed with her bluntness. “you think you’re such a hot shot?!” And a lot of people (including myself) wrote it off as pure arrogance and were a bit disgusted.
Here’s the funny thing …. While I definitely think it takes audacity to deliver such a line, I love it! At first I was unimpressed – but now – I think its marvelous. We should ALL give such an answer and we should ALL believe that we are destined for greatness! Each and every one of us, we should all believe that somewhere and sometime in our lives we will shine – utilizing all our potential and achieving something greater than anyone else can. And ya know what? I believe that wholeheartedly about myself! I know that I am destined for greatness… just like my husband is… and my friends in NY and my in laws who live down the block from me. Each and every one of us.
“Maybe I’m destined to write a blog….”
I think many people were taken aback and upset by Oprah’s brazen attitude because many of us deep down might feel we need to be humble – but it’s really a false humility. “Who am i? I’m gonna be a huge oprah? I could never do anything big!” No, that’s not true. Sure, maybe I’m not meant to be on TV every day in front of a huge audience – but maybe I’m destined to write a little blog Who knows? All I know – is that it is a dangerous trap to believe you’re NOT destined for greatness! And it took someone with some serious balls to be able to admit that to Barbara Walters!
3) Your Life- Your Responsibility
It was funny to hear Oprah touch upon this idea in her goodbye episode because it is one of the most important and vital lessons we learn in herbal healing. Your life – Your Responsibility! We learn that sadly – many people blindly listen to doctors and psychiatrists and take medicines without fully understanding why they are needed, and what the side effects can do. We learn that our health is in OUR own hands from how we caused our situations to how we can ultimately heal them. It is in our power and it is our responsibility.
Oprah – in the same vein discussed how our ENTIRE life is in our hands and we need to reclaim that power. No more feeling like a victim! We are not victims of what our parents did or didn’t do. No more blaming society for why our lives are bad… time to take responsibility for making our lives as great as we want!! And I thought this lesson was of course, awesome
4) The Ripple Effect
We all know the story – a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan can affect great change rippled across the world. In the finale episode, hundreds and hundreds of students came to pay tribute to Oprah – who because her organizations and scholarship funds were able to get a formal education. Videos were shown of libraries established in honor of her 25 years, trees and parks were built. The lists of new charities and and monies donated is freakishly endless… But it is both overwhelming and amazing to think how ONE person (and a kick tuchiss staff) caused so much goodness in the world. Imagine if all of us had a little bit of Oprah within us? One little good deed – one little act – one little smile – one little word – but of course we know all this from our wonderful Jewish heritage and our leaders that teaches us this powerful lesson!
And that brings me to the last thing point about Oprah….
5) Time to Say Goodbye
This one makes me feel a bit conflicted. A Rabbi in NJ was once asked “when do you plan on retiring?” and he told them, “I will never retire. I plan on taking vacations… but never retire.” I love this answer and was so happy when my husband voiced the same sentiments. If I am alive – then I have more exciting challenges and thrilling adventures on the way! Oprah – who seemed to have accomplished so many wonderful things in the past 25 years of her talk show, why is she saying goodbye? She seems to be at the top of her game! How can she walk away – she’s in her 50’s – full of health and vitality – why leave all her “Chassidim?!” Something about it just doesn’t sit right with me. Imagine how much more she could have accomplished in another 10 years!
However, on the other hand – there is something to be said about moving on. I blogged about this concept before about LeBron James (feel free to read that post: click here) – There is a time to say goodbye and Oprah listened to her instincts which told her that time was now. (also, here would be a good time to point out that her ratings have been plummeting over the past few years ) It takes energy to continue working and re-inventing yourself year after year, but it takes courage and bravery to know when its time to say goodbye and move on. Oprah is certainly not dying – and she will be working on her ENTIRE network !!!! So it’s kind of like having the Oprah show – for 24 hours a day !!!!! Who knows? Maybe from this new platform she will be able to do so much more to educate and inspire the masses…. It will be interesting to see how she does with this next chapter of her life.
The Queen of Talk ….
All in all – the Queen of Talk Shows has stepped down. The energy in that studio audience was thick and palpable as she said her loving goodbyes to her adoring supporters. Just as a real queen has loyal admirers – so too Oprah had a following like none other. And while I watched her talk show only a handful of times over the past few years, I confess, I too got teary eyed when she said her goodbyes and walked off the stage for the last time.