Of course it was a huge spectacle of a TV event when it aired in 2011. But looking at it now I see it simply as a powerful motivational speech from a woman who has achieved incredible success.
I very much admire Oprah for her independence, her business savvy, her work ethic, her wisdom, and her dedication to doing what she feels is right and good. I may not always agree 100% with her view of the world, or relate with her celebrity lifestyle, but to me she is a fascinating person.
Somehow, she’s a populist and an intellectual, a raving capitalist who unveils free cars and a spiritual guru who endorses simplicity. She’s a fiercely independent woman whose vulnerability, rather than her ruthlessness, has brought her great power. (Though on the business side a bit of ruthlessness has probably served her well too.)
A lot of what she speaks about resonates with me. I am especially humbled by her compassion – someone who can interview child molesters, rapists and murderers without hostility or judgement is a rare and wonderful person in my books.
In order to really hear what Oprah is saying, you have to get over the pomp and the ego that was (and is) The Oprah Winfrey Show. If you can get past the glare of her celebrity and the show’s production and hear her as an inspirational speaker, then the message is all the clearer.
It takes a strong will and a lot of bravery to live without compromise, and Oprah’s willingness to lead by example is one of the things that makes her a remarkable human being.
I’m glad that Oprah is continuing her life’s work and finding new ways to influence people’s lives for the better. She certainly inspires me to do better, and be better, and to have the awareness to seek out and honour my own authenticity.
Click here for a full transcript of The Oprah Winfrey Show finale.