Five things I learned from Oprah’s Finale and love letter to her viewers…

May 27, 2011 Kyron 1 Comment

…that I can use in my life as a parent

A couple of days ago (as you already know if you haven’t been locked in a cave) was Oprah’s last show after 25 years on the air. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I watched the show religiously and read every book in the Oprah Book Club or even was religious in keeping up with my journaling because I wasn’t. Some years I didn’t even like her show….it became too sideshow like, but even she will tell you she too is constantly learning icon smile Five things I learned from Oprahs Finale and love letter to her viewers...

oprah Five things I learned from Oprahs Finale and love letter to her viewers...I did LIKE her show on the whole. I liked the fact that even the people I found reprehensible she tried to keep an open mind about and she gave me an opportunity to learn, even from that. I liked the fact that she highlighted stories other people might have otherwise brushed under the carpet….stories of children who had horrible things done to them, she gave voice and validation to those who otherwise might not have had a voice except in that sideshow and she did it with the utmost respect for them as humans. It is the better self we should all strive to be.

I recorded her last show. I only got a chance to actually watch it this morning….in between being a referee for the kids. It was worth the effort. It was without question her finest hour. A summary if you will of the Best of Oprah. Life lessons everyone can benefit from and how I plan on applying it in my life as a human, as a mom and as the mom to two kids who have some special needs. I hope it’s as thought provoking for you as it has been for me.

  • “Each of you have your own platform… With your own reach… However small or large… Wherever you are, that is your stage, that is your platform, your circle of influence and that is where your power lies… You let your life speak for you…and you will receive in direct proportion to how you give…you have the power to change someones life…and use your life to change the world.” - While I might never have been able to give voice to this, I believe it to be so completely true. Giving is pretty much the number one job as a parent. Not financially (although there’s plenty of that) but rather of your heart. More than your spouse, your parents or your best friend could ever be, your child is your heart. And you give your whole heart to them in a way so profound as to be almost without words. You give to them of your time, your energies, your efforts. You give until many times it hurts. You give even when they are hurting you, verbally or physically. But what you give you receive in direct proportion. Too many times I was told how Katherine would never do this, that or the other thing. Walk, talk, read, you name it, the answer was always “no, unlikely, unrealistic”. HA. You will receive in direct proportion…use your life to change the world. I’ve changed the world in a profound way. Not Martin Luther King, Oprah, Bono huge kind of change the world, but every little change is the catalyst to the next change. It’s why I want to continue this blog. I have no illusions that I’m changing the whole world. But if I don’t put it out there, nothing ever changes. Change begins with me and this is my stage. Hopefully it helps one or two of you along the way.
  • Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space- Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who suffered a massive and rare form of stroke (AVM) which impacted the left hemisphere of her brain. She spoke on Oprah years ago and the message was so profound, Oprah felt compelled for good reason to share it one more time. Dr. Taylor spoke of how even though after the stroke she couldn’t remember her own mother or speak she could understand the “energy” that was brought into her room by the various players…family, friends, medical staff. She could sense positive and negative, she could get who respected her and valued her and who didn’t, who was on her side. To me that’s incredibly powerful! Of course it didn’t hurt that I have a daughter who had a massive stroke on the left side of her brain which to this day impacts her, but because it is such a basic thing. People who may understand nothing else in their lives, people who are profoundly disabled, probably non-verbal, maybe unable to communicate in any way you typically conceive ofenergy Five things I learned from Oprahs Finale and love letter to her viewers... communication are going to feel and perceive that energy! How you treat someone matters How you act, speak, the very energy you give off matters. Day in and day out is a rat race. There’s work, errands, kids, and then if you’re like me there is juggling therapists, doctors, medications, exercises, on top of the laundry, the housework, the cooking….well you get it. Honestly, most days by the end of the day the energy I’m putting into this space is far from stellar. Bitchy would be far more accurate, but we’ll stick with far from stellar. I don’t always bring my best energy to either child….or my husband for that matter. Today, I take responsibility for the energy I bring into this space. Change begins with me. You will receive in direct proportion to how you give.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you or as Celie says in the Color Purple Everything you done to me, already done to you.” Karma, energy, divine retribution….plenty of words for it, and clearly it’s a concept that isn’t at all Oprah’s, but it’s a message in this day in age  certainly seems to have been forgotten. I wrote earlier this week about the PSA that Glee Characters did on End the Word. As a parent, special needs or not,  I need to use this rule FOR my children. They need to have the world remember that treating someone poorly because they are different is NOT ok unless you plan on having others treat you that way in response. It’s important for my kids, it’s important for your kids, it’s important for everyone who is discriminated against because of their religion, gender, race, political affiliation, sexual orientation or disability. It’s important because we’ve gotten away from this lesson in almost every way. Change begins with me. You will receive in direct proportion to how you give.
  • You. Are. Worthy. You are worthy because you were born. You are worthy because you are here. Your worthiness is a BIRTHRIGHT. Each person is wonderful for what they bring into this world and everyone wants and deserves to be heard. Validation. I see you, I hear you and what you say and how you feel matters. You matter. Simple and yet so profound. Every human wants this. Those with disabilities are not always granted this basic human right. It’s my job as a parent to instill my children with the knowledge that they ARE worthy. That they ARE wonderful and that anyone that doesn’t treat them that way, is wrong. That they know this basic truth as firmly as they know their own name will hopefully makes it so that they are never abused, taken advantage of. Ok, that’s a lofty goal. But the internal strength that comes from knowing you are worthy, can carry you through a lot and will make a difference that can’t quite be quantified. I do know that people who don’t think they are worthy are willing to take a whole lot of crap because they don’t feel like they are deserving of anything better. I know because I was one of those people. I know through the love of some very wonderful people that I. Am. Worthy. I hope and pray by teaching my kids this they never will go through what I did and that in receiving that love and respect and validation they will pass that validation on. Change begins with me. You will receive in direct proportion to how you give.
  • “Be a Safe Harbor for someone” Oprah spoke of her teacher Mrs. Duncan who first gave her that first safe harbor. How her parents and grandparents did the best they could but Mrs. Duncan’s class was the first place she felt safe, loved, validated. Every parent does their best I am certain, some are just more capable than other. I don’t want to judge. I’ll leave that to the higher power. I will say I hope I am that safe harbor for my children. I hope I’ve been that safe harbor  and can continue to provide some shelter in the storm we call life. I hope that I raise children who are empathetic and sympathetic and can be a safe harbor for others. I hope that I provide a safe harbor here, on my platform for those of you who are feeling like you are swimming alone. You are not. The stormy seas can be calmed here. You can be supported and validated no matter how rough it’s been. I’ve been in those stormy waters too and know what it takes. I hope I am that safe harbor for others who are near and dear to me – my husband, my extended family, my friends. I always want them to know they have a place out of the cold, out of the storm. Somewhere they can be validated, because we are all worthy. You will receive in direct proportion to how you give. Be the change you want.

It was a moving hour. She gave an incredible gift in that last hour. She’s given gifts well beyond the trips, the cars and her favorite things. The “things” will fade away. These lessons will Change the World. And as she spoke of the love she has felt from her audiences – both in the studio and on the air, I believe she will continue to receive in direct proportion to how she has given. God Bless and thank you for 25 years, Oprah. But more importantly thank you for your love letter.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Allie Noah says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! It was well written. I have been looking for videos about the finale for a long time. I did watch the show and it had some amazing quotes, so I Googled “Oprah finale” and your site popped up. You’re the only person that I know of that put a ton of quotes. Most people just put a line or two.

    -Restoring the Meaning of Education
    P.S. Keep up the good work!

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