Oprah Winfrey taught me a lot. Her show first aired when I was sixteen years old, and the world was a different place. In general, mainstream Americans weren’t thinking globally. The “Me” generation and yuppies were “in,” and everyone I knew considered Madonna’s “Material Girl” an acceptable anthem.
Oprah was as pop culture as anyone, but the pulse of her message was others-centric. She cared about other peoples’ problems, and was ever-patient in explaining why the rest of us should, as well. She sent cameras into places and situations we would have never chosen to see, but we followed her into heartbreaking stories to find ourselves emerging braver, stronger and more confident after crying another’s tears and absorbing both their pain and their triumph.
Oprah let blessings flow through her, and demonstrated the simple act of sharing in everything she did. She shared her friends, her knowledge, her struggles, and her wealth.
Though not a biological mother, Oprah taught us how to mother. We watched her nurture youngsters around the world, as she constantly reminded us that society has an obligation to our children. ..all our children. What we desire for our own children, we should desire for all children. It is that lesson I will carry with me always, and what drives me to do the work I do with the Go Green Initiative. It’s not enough to prepare our children for the future; we must prepare the future for our children. Oprah showed us how to open our hearts, minds and arms to embrace the most vulnerable among us. She made me believe we can all make a difference.
Thank you, Oprah, for twenty-five years of sisterhood and inspiration. You brought out the best in all of us, and the world is better place because of you. I hope you see your fingerprints in the work of the women you have touched.
If you would like to watch my favorite “green” video clips from the Oprah Winfrey show, click here. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=PLA8C9B6330D832724
Why Oprah says “it’s easy being green”: http://www.oprah.com/world/Its-Easy-Being-Green_1
Oprah’s Green Resources: http://www.oprah.com/packages/going-green.html