I know it’s hard to focus on anything right now because we’re so distracted by the roar of the news & the steady hum of our own anxiety. So for the next six weeks over at @oprahsbookclub, I’ll be spotlighting a curated list of seven books that comfort, inspire, and enlighten me. pic.twitter.com/TBY8WFsl6i
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) October 26, 2020
Oprah is known to many as an inspirational talk show host, philanthropist, actress, author—but this is not why she is dear to my heart.
I came to know Oprah not through watching her television show or reading her magazine or watching her in “The Color Purple,” I was initially drawn to her name because of the sweet discovery of her book club.
In high school, I read The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, and noticed a small “O” on the cover, leading me to uncover a new world of books in Oprah’s book club; it introduced me to Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton; Night by Elie Wiesel; One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márguez; and names like Toni Morrison, later Eckart Tolle, and Cheryl Strayed.
Her life story emboldens women to dream that they too can rise from the cruelty of men, the thin fabric of family, sexual assault, and death to become someone who inspires people to fight for justice, equality, and intelligence.
She was the queen of daytime television, but she’ll always be the woman who inspired me to read!
And, talk about having influence, just Google: the Oprah effect—wow.
Today is Oprah’s birthday. So, let’s celebrate her; she’s fierce, passionate, brave, lovable (and intimidating), and a force of hope—a beacon to turn to when we are in search of a little light.
It turns out, poetry and a wonderful symphony of words have left Oprah’s lips, been spilled by her pen. I share some of her words with you today to add some sparkle to your life:
“We have to make the choice—every single day—to exemplify the truth, the respect, and the grace that we wish for this world.”
“That’s what great books do, especially when shared. They shine a light on the unfolding of our own stories.”
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
“Our goal must be decency and respect for every human we encounter.”
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
“Passion is the log that keeps the fire of purpose blazing.”
“Look inward—the loving begins with you.”
“One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn.”
“All pain is the same; we just choose different ways to release it.”
“You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.”
“Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own.”
“Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others.”
“You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.”