Afraid of Oprah

I admit it. I am afraid of Oprah Winfrey.

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I have a theory that everything wrong in my life has been because I once criticized Oprah on a number of things and that somehow she found out and put a hit on me. Ridiculous…I know. I wrote an apology letter and put it in the mail and my cars stopped exploding. Maybe I should question why the various cars I owned kept exploding but that’s not the point.

I am afraid of Oprah because she is someone to be afraid of.

While watching her on the view today, I was simultaneously reading an entry about her on Wikipedia.
In the article there is a quote from Oprah

“The reason I gained so much weight in the first place and the reason I had such a sorry history of abusive relationships with men was I just needed approval so much. I needed everyone to like me, because I didn’t like myself much. So I’d end up with these cruel self-absorbed guys who’d tell me how selfish I was, and I’d say ‘Oh thank you, you’re so right’ and be grateful to them. Because I had no sense that I deserved anything else. Which is also why I gained so much weight later on. It was the perfect way of cushioning myself against the world’s disapproval.”[79]

Something about that quote strikes me in an unknown place and in an unknown way. It’s not near my heart or head. I,myself, can’t divorce my intellect from my emotions. I am pragmatic in that way. In fiercely passionate about the things I think and feel, curious about what I don’t and skeptical about people with opposing opinions on things I do know to be true.

To be able to overcome the emotions that she developed because of those circumstances and relationships that contributed to them is highly admirable. If you read the rest of the Wikipedia article then you could see how someone with Oprah’s history would have had good reason and cause to live life feeling victimized. So to use that pain or to have been able to put it aside and get to the position and have amassed the wealth she has is just something.

On The View today, she claimed her past and claimed her mother and grandmother and then took her own sense of self and explained how she broke the cycle of servitude that had also been in effect with her great-grandmother, and her great-great grandmother who had been a slave. She said her grandmother took interest in her education and when she had free time taught her how to read. That’s something a lot of kids are missing. I remember when I was in Pre-k we had these Tshirts which had “Read To Me” printed across them. While I vacillate about my family’s role in my education, I do remember Mother Goose’s Fables and Ducky Lucky and my mother and grandmother reading those over and over with me.

(Remember this?)

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There are other things in the article too that give reason for Oprah to be respected but I think that small moment of having something in common (somewhat) makes me want to be able to find my own inner Oprah and encourage to find theirs as well. So I guess this is my olive branch to Oprah and a little to my mom and grandma. I definitely implore anyone who has kids and might read this to take a second today and ask your kid(s) “what’s your favorite book?” Or to take a second and have them read a fable or two to you.

[Chester Kent]

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