Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oprah 'n' Me

Well, I have a confession to make. I am starting to like Oprah.

I know, I know, I have - for years - said while I like a lot of what she has done, I don't really like her. Like I really know her so well; well enough to make an accurate and insightful judgement. Hey, it's what I do.

But suddenly I find myself thinking otherwise.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled across a website of a mom in Texas who is also a magazine columnist. The site is basically all her columns, which she now has available in a book form (I just bought it, will let you know how it is.) When I was going through her archives, I read one from 2003, I think, about the difference between being right and being effective. (here's the link, the actual article is called "Call Me Mrs. Right" - you have to click on "2003" and then the title.) Go read it and then come back!

The column talks about whether or not it's OK not to be "right" all the time, if you can be effective. It really stuck with me and I have been thinking about it a lot. I find myself frequently in parenting situations where I want not only to teach my boys what to do (or what is right), but I also find myself selfishly and immaturely wanting them to realize that I AM RIGHT. And I know it's wrong and silly and it embarrasses me. This column has helped me realize that sometimes it's OK to not be right, and sometimes it's preferrable not to be right. That you can still be effective, and still get the outcome you are aiming for.

Which brings me to Oprah. She is incredibly effective, and (in my opinion) she is often not "right." But now, for the first time, I am thinking that might just be acceptable, and that I can appreciate her effectiveness and understand her rightness or lack of it.

I watched part of her show yesterday. It was her 20th anniversary show. Wow, can you even believe she has been on the air (nationally) for TWENTY years? And she was showing clips of highlights over the years, and of course some were tear-jerkers so there I was with my kleenex, watching Oprah and thinking "hmmm.... maybe she does GET it." She can be effective and do good things for a heck of a lot of people, and she doesn't worry about being "right."

I don't know, the jury is still out; but I watched her show again today. I have had a lot of years to get used to not liking her. But maybe now I do.

1 comment:

shawn said...

hum.... a lot to think about...