Born in an isolated farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi in 1954, this iconic woman had a difficult childhood. The story of her life is an inspiration of resilience and strength.
Born to unmarried parents, she was shuffled to a ghetto in Milwaukee at 6 years old and then lived with her father in Nashville at 12. The poor, urban lifestyle exposed her to repeated sexual abuse by men that others in her family trusted.
Today, Oprah, in spite of her difficult childhood is one of the wealthiest women in the US and the highest paid entertainer worldwide. But her story is not about just working her way to the top. Along the climb, this woman is substance has reached out to countless nameless people who needed help. Her generous contributions to charitable institutions and organizations has endeared her to people and has served as an icon for hope in spite of life’s challenges.
Philanthropy is not everyone’s cup of tea. And while there are philanthropists in our midst, not everyone starts from rock bottom and has had changing moments in their lives. Those changing moments provide one the true impetus and opportunity to extend help to our fellow men when we can. While helping our neighbors is not an obligatory act, the act of sharing the largesse for the greater good is a defining moment when we extend help to those in need (in any little way we can). After all, it’s been said that “to whom more is given, more is expected”.
Charity does not have to be announced with all pomp and fanfare. The daily kindness we share in our own little way to people who need that helping hand goes a long way.
We don’t have to be AN Oprah in life in order to make things happen. In order to make this world a better and inspiring place. We can all be LIKE Oprah in this world. Helping people who fight their battles on what is right, just, and true – in our small ways.
One day at a time. One step at a time. One moment at a time. Together, we can all make those small differences a large matter. Because this is who we are. People who are strong in spite of the odds.
“Life’s not fair.”
It’s a usual shoutout we give when we’ve been used, abused, betrayed or face tragedy.
We can react in two ways – lose hope and fall into self-destructive habits or use the challenge to find our inner strength.
It’s important to remember that we can never let fear decide our fate. Doing that allows the oppressor to bully you. Let go if you must. Forgive when you can. Forget, no matter how difficult it is, because it’s the real act of forgiveness to whoever has hurt you and yourself.
We’ve all read, felt, and shared stories of resilience on social media and among TV, movie and reality shows. The inspiring stories of our fellowmen’s resilience at the lowest points of their lives and the opportunities given to them by kind hearted people show us that there is kindness and love and hope in a world that’s strangely evolving into so much cynicism. After all, most of the characters have less in life than many of us.
The ultimate challenge today is to share more of the paradigm on strength and resilience rather than abuse and bullying. The rudeness enveloping much of society today is like a highly communicable viral infection that must be contained. And eradicated. While we are so passionate about curbing crime, we seem to shirk at the thought of combatting those who put people down.
I believe, that while we all have personal battles, I have always said, that there are those we need to walk away from because it’s a mountain that’s not for us to move. As for the ones we can, let’s move this.
Falling and failing will always be life’s greatest teacher. It is from these failures we learn to rise up to the challenges. It makes us stronger and hopefully, better in a good way.
The older we get, the more challenges come our way. Even when you’ve supposedly “retired” from the humdrum of life, life has a way of finding a lemon to throw your way. In reality, life doesn’t get easier. We just get stronger.
This month, I write a few more stories on resilience and strength and the relative joy of people who have gone through hell and found heaven at the end of their journey.
To my followers, thank for for having over 5,500 views and almost 3,500 visitors since I started this blog 3 months ago in a little room in Tokyo while finding my relative joy with my family. I am grateful for the “likes” and the “shares”.
Some people asked if I could venture into a more political slant and rant. I told them that this blogsite is not themed for that purpose and because there’s really so much negativity already out there, I’d like to share a more positive mindset. Besides, politics is not my cup of tea. Staying focused on the central theme of this blog site would also help me achieve inner peace and settle my mind into achieving life’s relative joy.
I draw my strength from the lessons and decisions on the road less traveled. And I am always excited at starting all over again.