After years of disinterest in Oprah I decided last summer that I was going to watch the last season of the Oprah Winfrey Show so that I could make an informed decision about her. I realized that the only thing I truly knew about her was that she was rich and famous. I had heard a lot of stories about how she treated people off her show and other rumors and had regrettably made up my mind about her from those stories.
At the same time I started watching Oprah Behind the Scenes on her network OWN. Watching this show with the Oprah Show opened me up to a whole new opinion of her as a person, TV host, and businesswoman. Is she direct, aggressive, stubborn, and determined? Yes...but I think to be as successful as she is you have to be. Is she also normal, caring, understanding, and willing to compromise? The answer is also a yes. I used to be one of those people who referred to Oprah as God because she could make almost anything happen. What I've realized is that she isn't God and it was wrong of me to look at her like that. She is simply a role model and teacher to millions of people around the world. Through her many episodes she's helped people open up and attend to the issues that are laying just below the surface in all of us, including herself.
It takes a lot of someone to give themselves to something as much as Oprah has to her show, staff, and ultimately her viewers. Yes, she has been rewarded financially and with fame but I will always remember her saying in one of the episodes of Behind The Scenes that she knows how lucky she is to have a vast amount of wealth and people to do almost anything for her but that if it all went away tomorrow she'd be just fine and able to take care of herself. I found nothing but truth in that statement.
One of Oprah's famous sayings is that "you have the power." When I heard that for the first time it stuck with me. We all have the power to make whatever we want happen. People always thank Oprah for doing this or that for them or making them realize something that they never knew and she's quick to point out that she was just the teacher, they had the power of realization and acceptance. That's a profound statement that I will carry with me forever.
I could go on and on with what I learned from watching the final season of her show but I won't. I'll just mention two things I learned these past 8 months from her. 1) Stay in the moment. Don't worry about what will happen tomorrow or even in two hours. Live your life in the current moment. 2) No matter what you may think of someone we all have something to learn from them, good or bad.
Do I wish I would have watched her show before this year? Yes. Do I regret it? No. Regret is just a waste of time. I'd rather have learned a few things in a short time than nothing at all.