If you were asked to choose someone to advocate on your behalf, for just about any cause or argument that might come up,
who would be your pick?
Hands down, mine would be Oprah. (Which is only part of the reason why I don’t want her to run for POTUS; but I’ll leave that for another time).
In my opinion, Oprah stands up for good; she inhabits a realm that is far beyond and high above most people I follow in the public eye – for urging people to act right, speak right, practice compassion and forgiveness; and live your life in search of the fullest expression of your being (ok, Seth comes close).
But today, she’s upping the ante, taking a stand in a relatively new arena – though, arguably, one not too far removed from her own childhood and missions of the heart. Childhood trauma. And the long-term effects of those experiences that last well into adulthood; manifesting in physical illness, chronic pain, immune-deficiencies, depression and an assortment of other mental health challenges. Which, I believe, manifest in the ostensibly inexcusable but horribly misunderstood actions of individuals like 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
Because the discourse has to change. “What’s wrong with you?” is the wrong question to ask. This is the question we need to be asking, deeply, attentively – and at all ages: “What happened to you?”
So I invite – nay, urge – you to read a bit about it ahead of time and if you can, please tune in to the report.
At the very least, if you haven’t heard of the ACE survey and research, and trauma-informed care, then it will have been worth your while. Then consider who, in your circle of friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and – this one, most especially – teens and young adults, might benefit from hearing what Oprah and Dr Bruce Perry have to say. (Then also watch Nadine Burke-Harris’ TED talk.) It might very well save one life – or more. At the very least it might help heal a broken life and heart.
Oprah is a role model for many in our time; if not yours, then I hope you have one or more of your own.
As for my pwn unabashed adulation of O, I’d even support the manufacture of an Oprah Barbie doll – IF I knew it would be packaged with a pocket edition of her transformative messages, guiding principles, affirmation-mantras. Hell, I might even buy one for some girls AND boys that I know myself.
Bottom line: I fully expect to meet the venerable Ms O one day – and to discover that we have much in common. You too never know when you might meet Oprah on your own journey; but if you do, please… don’t chew gum.
Oprah says the report was revolutionary and life-changing for her. I do believe…
Oprah on 60Minutes. Please watch it. Share the link widely. And talk. Ms O will love you for it.