Who doesn’t know Oprah Winfrey? Born to a housemaid and a coal miner(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey) couple, who would have thought that this little girl would be among the richest African-American one day? But did she always have it easy?
How It All Began—A Book That Changed Me:
Once there was a book sale in my apartment premises and I was literally drawn to buy this book by Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure). Though a bit over my budget for the day, I couldn’t help picking it up. I browsed a few pages, but put it back and went over to the other side. After a couple of minutes, on my way out, this book caught my attention once again and something about the book compelled me to buy it. And I thank my stars for doing so. Not only have I read it several times over, I have also passed it around to others to read it. So smitten I was by Oprah (if I can say that)! As I flipped the pages, I could literally feel Oprah talking; it was almost like a meeting with her.
If you look at the confidence Oprah exudes, you cannot believe what she has gone through. But the fact that she left it all behind to move ahead makes her stand out an in the crowd.In her book, she says, “Often we don’t even realize who we’re meant to be because we’re so busy trying to live out someone else’s ideas. But other people and their opinions hold no power in defining our destiny.” How true and so relevant to the times we are living in. She always insists that, “what we dwell on, we become”. So it is really important to think and act right. She further adds that we must not shift the blame on others for our actions and its consequences.
As I flipped through the pages of the book, I could feel every word coming to life and when I finished the book, I was a different person. Whether it was about books, relationships, people, good and bad vibrations, romance, friends—she had an advice for everything! And said in a way that you can relate to it and be compelled to follow. Such is the power of her words and the way they flow with ease!
Of course, I always knew that Oprah Winfrey is a distinguished media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, philanthropist, all rolled into one. But I was inspired to dig deeper to where it all began and as I rummaged through the Net for information, I was amazed. For a person who was born into poverty, molested and forced into pregnancy in her early teens, how did she tide over so much to rise and phenomenally, at that. That is when I remembered her own words in her book, “It doesn’t matter where you’ve been as long as you come back strong.” Indeed. And she confesses that “I didn’t change, I just woke up.” And she woke up to become a millionaire at a very young age (32) and this would not have been possible if not for her positivity, genuineness and lovable nature. If we could all move ahead of the dark shadows into the light and wake up to reality, life would indeed be much different than what we anticipate.
Often we look at celebrities and get overwhelmed by the glitz and glamour that surrounds them. But what is also true is that each has a story of struggle and of overriding tough times. But the stories of all are not publicized because a lot of darkness surrounds it. Yet, the fact that despite all odds, they could rise and overcome it with sheer grit speaks volumes about them. In 2013, Oprah was awarded the President Medal of Freedom by the then President of United States, Barack Obama, the highest civilian award in the US.
To me, Oprah is a legend and her life, an inspiration. She has taught me to, walk away from situations and people that give out bad vibes, and to be fearless in pursuit of what sets the soul on fire. In fact, for a long time my Whatsapp status update was also one from the book where she quotes Maya Angelou, “When you have the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” And from then on, I have never missed a single opportunity to waltz. Thanks, Oprah!
Image credits: quotefancy , What I Know for Sure (book image) , Oprah Winfrey
About the author:
Janaki Srinivasan is a Freelance Content Writer based in Chennai. With a background in publishing, it’s only obvious that she loves to read, write and do anything that is remotely related to books. Besides she’s a SAHM of a 6 year old tornado and is loving every minute of it.