Last night, I turned on the Golden Globes just in time to catch the presentation of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. More importantly, I was tuned in for Oprah’s acceptance speech. I’ve had an on and off again relationship with Oprah over the years, but last night I couldn’t applaud her enough for two particular messages. The first was how she uncovered hope where there might otherwise be despair. And the second was how inclusive she was in her closing notes. I know, thanks to social media, that I wasn’t the only one affected by her words last night. But that’s the thing about Oprah…it’s not just words.
Regardless of your personal feelings about Oprah, the talent or the potential politician if you believe Twitter, there is no denying she has used the power of her position to affect change. Her talk show first aired during my senior year. I would race home to watch it on days I didn’t have something after school. Even then I recognized among the many stories being shared, that Oprah was committed to breaking cycles of abuse.
So today, as I thought about what my edtech resolution “I will share…” would be, I began to play with the idea of sharing the secret things. The things we don’t typically want to talk about because it makes others uncomfortable. The things that cause us to want to close our eyes or look the other way. The things people keep to themselves because they don’t want to be judged. I can share those secrets. I can help lighten the burden.
I thoroughly enjoy when I get to have Oprah moments in trainings. You know those times when the presenter shouts, “You get a new tool…you get a new tool…and YOU get a new tool!” But there is that other side of Oprah. The side that listens to the horror stories, that refrains from judging, that invites you to share your secret and get the support you need so that you can have a brighter tomorrow. In 2018, I resolve to be better at being that side of Oprah.