We are in the final countdown for the finale of the Oprah Winfrey Show. In a few short days we will no longer have the opportunity to have ‘afternoon tea’ with Oprah.
Even though Ms. Winfrey is not leaving the planet, or the airwaves, and is starting her OWN network, there will be a big gaping hole in television, and frankly in my life.
I think Oprah has been a force of change more powerful that anyone else in our recent history – at least in my life time. There are specific things that I will miss when she is no longer daily present on the air, and there are things I think that the world will miss – that we so desperately need.
Yes, OWN has already been providing great shows and inspiration, but it’s not the same without Oprah herself delivering the goods. I have consistently turned to Oprah and her show for a source of learning, both internal and external. Where in the world am I going to get that now?
Where will we all get:
Positive and inspiring messages
There’s an endless barrage of negative and scary messages in the media. The Oprah Winfrey show is one place where inspiration and learning is the focus. I love that early in the show’s 25 year span Oprah got very clear that her mission was to use her platform to uplift and inspire, even if it meant the ratings did not follow. But, the ratings did follow. Hasn’t the media learned yet that we are hungry for those stories that make us better people? Sensation may sell, but we can’t thrive on consistent diet of it.
New knowledge and perspectives to understand those around us
As a psychotherapist I consider myself pretty open to other people’s experiences and lives, yet I have found myself consistently being pried open even a bit more by watching how Oprah teaches us about others. I’ve learned more about my own biases, what makes me squirm, and I’ve certainly gotten some new therapeutic tools from The Oprah Winfrey show. Where will we get loving exposure to people and ideas that we may not have considered before?
Reminders about how great it feels to give
It’s just so dang easy to focus on my own little world and forget about giving as a regular part of my life force. And, it feels so good to give. Oprah has always demonstrated that there is immense joy in giving and that we each hold tremendous power to create change. Where will we get a reminder to venture outside our insular lives and give to others?
Permission to dream a big dream
I’m a dreamer and a planner, and I love to hang out in the dreamy land of the future. But, I was never able to really acknowledge the big dreams I had, because I could never see how I would manifest them. Oprah has encouraged us all to dream that dream and then dream it bigger, because otherwise our lives stay small. She says that God can dream a bigger dream than you. Where are we going to get reminded that dreaming big is really our destiny?
Spirituality on TV
I know there’s religion on TV, but spirituality and new ways of thinking have not found their mass media foot hold yet. Oprah, I think, has been responsible for beginning the conversation that needs to be continued about spirituality, living life, and the meaning that we create in it. Where will we find that boldness to start and engage in conversations about things that not everyone agrees with?
A role model who will walk her talk
You never hear crazy dirt about Oprah. There may be weird, sensational, and untrue stories in the tabloids, but never do we hear real stuff about Oprah doing things that are not in line with her integrity. She has shown us what it means to live a full and rich life in integrity in a world that places so much emphasis on the opposite. Having her not show up every day to demonstrate that to us will be a void.
Oprah is gifted at simply being herself and in doing that she created a relationship with each of us. She is a world power house, and also a tequila sipping girlfriend who isn’t afraid to show us what’s under the makeup. Because of who she is, and the relationship I already feel with her, it does not seem outside the realm of possibility to someday realize my big dream of hanging out with Oprah. I’d be more than happy to fly to Maui – it’s only 30 minutes!
Wrapping it up
I want media that is not driven by ratings but by intention, as Oprah has so publicly and exquisitely provided. The Oprah Winfrey Show has proven that the world is ready to switch from a global diet of scarcity, fear, and anger to one of inspiration, inclusion, and love. Where will we find this now?
I know I’ll find a way. I’ll just miss Oprah.
My great imaginary conversations with her will continue, and I’ll use the path that she has created as a guide in my own life. I bet I even find new pathways to inclusion and inspiration. And, maybe along the way, I’ll change the world a little bit myself.
What about you? Leave a comment and tell me what you think. How has Oprah impacted you?
Image from: www.oprah.com