How fitting that on her last show, Oprah, who wanted to be a teacher and became one of the world’s most famous, with the biggest classroom in the world, talked about the lessons she has learned and the love and validation she has felt because of us, her audience. Originally trained as a Montessori teacher, I embrace the premise that each of us is a part of a cosmos, and in that cosmos, each has a cosmic task to discover. Oprah said the same thing. She told her final audience that each of us has a calling and that our task is to listen, pay attention to what the universe is telling us and to discover it. Even today, as I teach in a non-Montessori setting, I still consider it my job to guide students to discover what their purpose, talents, and passions are. That’s why I make reference to each of us having a unique light within us and a bulletin board in my classroom says, “We Are Here To Shine!” Like Oprah, I feel that I learn from my audience, my students. That’s the reason my blog about teaching is called Guiding Them-Teaching Me.
Today Oprah told us that one of the greatest lessons she’s learned, and one of the most important for us all to learn, is that we alone are responsible for our lives. I have a poster in my classroom that says much the same. “No matter who you are or where you came from, where you go is up to you.” My students could recite that for you because I’ve preached it to them all year. She spoke of the energy we create and in turn, bring to others, and how we alone are responsible for that. The laws of physics manifest themselves daily in each of our lives, whether we see them or not.
What she came to believe about herself, and has tried to instill in us, is that we alone, are enough. We ARE good enough. Each of us matters. Just as she has felt validated by us, so she wants us to be validated each time we look in the mirror, and to spread that message of acceptance and love to others when we look at them. All of us want to be heard. Listen, she says and you will hear. As you hear, you shall understand. She reminded us that we first have to listen to the voice inside of us, the God voice that will guide us, if only we are still enough to listen. She asked us all to listen, to hear, and to do. Listen well, hear with an open heart and go and do good, wherever our platforms, our stages, may be. For just like Oprah, we all a have part to play in this grand production of life. How will our characters develop? What will our roles be?
Oprah gave us all so much. Through the power of television, she entered our homes and our hearts. She invited us to go with her, to explore places deep within ourselves and places far away. She introduced us to people and ideas that so many of us would never get a chance to come into contact with otherwise. She connected us with others. She made the world smaller for us and she helped us to grow along with her.
I can think of no other living person who has used their talents, their platforms, and their power on such a grand scale, to reach out to so many and to do so much good in the world. No other living person, in my mind, has encouraged so many people worldwide to discover their own unique reason for being and use that knowledge for good. Without doubt, she’ll be missed in her afternoon time slot, but those who know Oprah will tell you what they know for sure. She won’t stop. And neither should we. Keep fighting the good fight.
Peace & Love