I feel corny writing this and I doubt I’ll ever take the steps to publish it anywhere. I shun pretty much anything that is consumed en masse by the mainstream. I’m more comfortable sitting outside the trend zone. If everybody else is doing it…I’m probably not there. That’s why I’m a closet Oprah fan.
I have always thought that Oprah helped raised my generation of girls.
I was raised by a single mom who got home from work at 5pm and was totally exhausted. We got home from school at 4pm and had a choice of 3 TV channels to watch. It was either He-Man, Oprah or Sally Jesse Rapheal (I think…correct me if I’m wrong on that.) I got off the bus, dropped my backpack and turned on the TV where Oprah regularly talked publicly about sexual abuse, a cultural mutation that had previously been kept with the rest of our families skeletons in a secret closet somewhere far from the light of open communication. She talked to us about weight and self image, racism, and infidelity. Every weekday at 4pm a black woman from Chicago came into my living room and talked about things that weren’t supposed to be talked about.
As I watched Oprah’s Life Class last night on my laptop while snuggled in a heap of blankets to fend off a cold New York autumn night, I wondered “who is raising this generation of girls?”
What are our girls coming home to after school and who’s raising them?
Kim Kardashian? Facebook? The Disney channel? It’s a scary thought, but one thing I got from Oprah when she was raising me was the understanding that it’s necessary to talk about the tough stuff. So, even though it’s uncomfortable sometimes, I have to step up to the plate and talk to my kids about things that might not be all that easy to talk about. I have to initiate the conversation with total presence.
As Oprah looked straight into the camera and quoted Eckhart Tolle‘s thoughts about the ego, I felt comforted by the fact that she’s still there. It may not be 4pm, and I might not ride a school bus anymore, but she’s still there, raising a generation of women and men and giving us the support and encouragement we need to live our best lives.