Friday, May 27, 2011

I know, enough with the Oprah

"You are responsible for your life and when you get that, everything else in  your life changes, my friends"
Oprah, 2011

As I said in my post below, I have not been on the Oprah bandwagon my whole life.   But after her last few shows I have really been inspired and see what a freaking genius she is.  Perhaps in combination with the tremendous amount of work I've recently done in the sociology field, I finally feel a connection with the Oprah-Mindset.  I know I am a little late to the party, but I finally "get" why she has been a powerful and inspirational force amongst the diaper changing-carpool sect.  I'm going to take a few minutes to pontificate, step on a soap box, and ramble a bit.  If you don't like it, sorry, but it's my blog. 

What I most admire about Oprah is the choice she made in surrounding herself with positive people.  People who support her mindset and her missions.  All too often we maintain friendships with people who are, truly, a cancer to our soul.  We choose to be around people that are  bad influences, stress makers, or negative energy emitters.  These people easily root themselves into our lives and cap our potential for happiness.  This is a habit that begins in elementary school.  We strive to be friends with the popular crowd, the cool kids.  Yet we tend to leave behind those from whom we can truly gain insight.  People that we are different from.  It saddens me that this mentality appears to continue across the lifespan, unless we decide to change our mindset. It is absolutely OUR choice to be surrounded by people whom will push us up or drag us down.  Is it always easy to identify those people?  No.  But it is, nevertheless, an important task.

For me, Oprah presents a great case study in the notion that when you surround yourself with greatness you achieve greatness.  This, in effect, is actually proven sociologically to be a fact.  Our social stratification has a significant impact on who we become and the morality that guides us.  As Oprah said, "When you know better you do better." This is an experience I was honored to have during my tenure in PTA.  I was surrounded by the most energetic, passionate, motivated, intelligent women I knew.  They were dedicated to building our school and community up.  When working with them, I fed off that positive energy.  I was carried by their excitement on the days I would rather crawl back in to bed.  We are, as a people, so strongly influenced by those around us. 

What it comes down to, as is the case with almost all human issues is choice.  It is our choice whom we surround ourselves with.  Positive energy givers or negative energy forces?  And the choice, of whom we surround ourselves with is ours, and ours alone.  It's not easy to cut ties with those who drag us down.  This is the part I'm working on...