Today is historic. Today is the airing of the last episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. If you’ve been following my blog you know how much I love Oprah. It was on my life list to make it to a taping of her show – been there, done that! It was fabulous.
As a journalist – I’ve gotten my inspiration from women like Oprah. I would watch her show everyday with my mother and I wanted to be just like her. Oprah has said many times that if she weren’t in TV she would have been a teacher. Well she’s been just that to many people in all walks of life through the years, including me.
Here’s my list of some of the lessons I’ve learned at “Oprah University:”
Oprah’s been both praised and ridiculed for all the gifts she’s given away in her “favorite things” episodes. From iPads to lasagna pans – she’s given it all away to screaming fans. Don’t forget the free trip to Australia and oh yeah…the “you get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car,” giveaway.
The lesson here is that it’s always better to give than receive. It makes people happy. Try it even if it’s on the smallest scale – you’ll be happier too.
From celebrities to everyday people, Oprah has had thousands of guests on her set. With each one she’s sat and listened – really listened and saw the person behind the story.
She’s also listened to herself and to her heart by only taking on projects that really mattered to her personally. That’s a huge lesson in itself.
She’s always been very open about the abuse and hardships she faced as a child. But somehow she’s been able to rise above it and forgive. Throughout her 25 years she has given guests and viewers the opportunity to do the same thing.
Holding a grudge can make you an angry person. But if forgiveness will help you heal — then so be it!
She’s said she doesn’t like to be surprised for fear that she’ll break into the “ugly cry.” But the element of surprise has been used time and time again on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The producer in me knows that’s because it makes for damn good TV! Oprah has surprised people with houses and money and college educations and long-lost siblings (her own included).
The lesson here is that it’s nice to do something good for someone you love. If it’s flowers or their favorite candy – everyone deserves a little surprise in their life. Be thoughtful.
Her own story – that of a poor girl from Mississippi who persevered and grew to a media mogul – is truly inspirational. She’s showed her viewers “if I can do it, you can too.” She’s given hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless.
This is probably the most important lesson I’ve learned from Oprah’s show. Strive to be better. Strive to want more. Strive to live your best life. Just strive.