Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I love me some Oprah!

The incomparable, Oprah Winfrey, was on Larry King last night:

KING: Do you pinch yourself saying, come on, you're one of the most powerful women in the world. Maybe -- certainly in the top five. Do you ever say to yourself, wow?

WINFREY: Larry, that's a good -- no. I don't say to myself wow I'm in the top five. I don't think...

KING: I don't mean that. I mean, that you've made it.

WINFREY: I think -- I marvel every day of my life. Because first of all, I start out the day with a form of meditation or prayer. Some kind of thoughtful inward look at myself and something bigger than myself. I try to do that every day. Not just wow but marvel at this life. I mean, I was born in Mississippi in 1954. And all that means. There are people watching that knows what that means and people that don't know what that means. Well, 1954, Mississippi was the most racist state in the United States. We had more lynchings in that state per county than any state in the union. And I was born during the year of Brown vs. Board of Education which was the year that really brought about a sense of hope to then colored people. We were called at the time. To believe that life could be better. That you would no longer have to go to a school that was segregated with you having books that were less than the other children. With you not having the right -- the proper facilities and the proper tools to which to learn. I was born in that year.

KING: And now look.

WINFREY: So, when I hear Paul Simon sing "Born at the Right Time" I think, he is singing about me.


CALLER: My question for you is, first of all, I just want to say that I admire what you do for people. Spiritually, if anything else. My question for you is, I'm 24. At 24, Oprah, what were you doing? Because I am lost.

WINFREY: ...I will say this, because I have god daughters and nieces who are in their 20s, and I would say that the 20s are the time when you feel the most lost. As I was saying to Larry earlier, I have kept a journal all these years, and so since I was 15, and my journal when I was 24 and 25, I go -- I look back at that journal and I weep for that woman. Because I was so pathetic. Even though I was working in news, I was so disorganized. I mean, I drove this little Chevy Chevette (ph) and my car was the junkiest car in Maryland. I would, like, roll my hair and leave the windows down, because I didn't have air conditioning.

WINFREY: ...but 24, the 20s are the time when you're finding out who you are. And so if you're ever going to be lost, 24 is the time to be seeking and finding yourself. So don't -- this is what I say to people in their 20s, don't beat yourself up about it. That's a time when you always feel like that's why this -- I remember writing in a journal once, that's why they call that show "The Young and the Restless," because you always feel like you're not doing enough, you're not getting ahead. You wish you were doing more, and why -- why aren't things more settled? They're not supposed to be in your 20s.


CALLER: I would like to ask you, what motivates you on a daily basis? What motivates you to get up everyday and do what you do.

KING: Yes, because you don't have to financially.

WINFREY: Well, I think this. I think everybody has to figure out a way -- I think the real job of your life is figuring out what is the job of your life. What is your calling? And I think everybody is called here to earth to do something special. I think there's not a person born that doesn't have a gift to offer in some way. And so, your job is not just to do what your parents say, what your teachers say, what society says, but to figure out what your heart calling is and to be led by that. And for me, from a very early age, it was talking, talking in the church. I'm grounded, you know, spiritually having been brought up through the church. But spirituality means more to me than religion or church. Knowing yourself and known there's something bigger than yourself. So, what motivates me as a human being is being able to understand that I am here and what a gift it is. What a gift. Every single day. And that's not just rhetoric or, you know, blah blah celebrity stuff. It is just, jeez. I just sometimes I...

KING: Do you ever not want to go in?

WINFREY: I never not want -- first of all, back to the question of what motivates me. What motivates me is being able to fulfilling my potential. And keep growing into myself. I finally, feel like now I'm going to be 50 so maybe I'm grown.

WINFREY: What motivates me is trying to best what I've always done. How do you get better? How do you grow better? And so...

KING: Top yourself?

WINFREY: Not even topping as much as it is fulfilling the potential. We all have great potential here on earth.

She is simply, the best.

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