Friday, May 13, 2011

Life is SO Good.

I'm not typically an "Oprah" watcher.  Sure, some of her shows are genius.  But I have such limited TV watching time, I am selective.  Today's show, however, was promoted in a way which urged me to TiVo it.  I was fascinated to hear from the reformed white skinheads, as this is a current topic in a class I'm in.  Little did I know, though, that this would be the least interesting segment of today's show.

Today's show was all about the lessons that Oprah has learned through the years, and what she hopes her show has taught the American public.  I so enjoyed hearing from past guests, on important lessons, most notably about parenting.  Things like being present, living in the moment, and SLOWING down.  I've found myself so caught up in the rat race lately.  When one of my favorite authors Toni Morrison spoke about one of her life lessons, I was moved.  Toni asked, "When a child walks into a room, do your eyes light up?" 


How often do we do an inspection or remember what our children HAVEN'T done when they walk in.  For me, I typically think, "Great, what do they want/need/complain about NOW?"
Toni Morrison's words have inspired me to re-think this and make sure that my eyes, heart, and soul light up when I see my babies walk into a room. 

That, however, was only the tip of today's TV show iceberg.  In her final moments she featured my new hero:  George Dawson. 

Born the grandson of a slave, George Dawson never had the opportunity to go to school.  He never learned to read or write as a child.  George didn't even know the alphabet or how to sign his name.  That, however, changed when he turned 98.  Yes.  98 years old. 

What I love about George Dawson's story is that he proves that it is NEVER too late to learn ANYTHING.  Life is a journey and it's all about learning.  Just when we think life is over, nearing an end, or we're done, there's more to be had. 

The moment I felt old about going to school in my 30s, I hear about Mr. Dawson returning to school at 98 to learn how to read and write.  Now, you'd think that at 98 you could say, "I've lived 98 years without knowin' how to read...what's the point?"  But instead of taking that attitude, he made a commitment to broaden his horizons.  Mr. Dawson did learn how to read, write, and even wrote a book, aptly titled, Life is So Good.  Even though George died just 5 years after learning how to read, at age 103, his life lesson lives on. 

Oprah went on to feature a middle school that now bears the name of this incredible motivating hero.  This school features George's life lessons throughout the building and the students know his story, his passions, and motivation.  And how awesome is it that this school is located right here in North Texas?