Monday, September 19, 2005

... on Oprah

There are a few people, whether someone I know personally or a celebrity, I admire. I have to admit that one of them is Oprah Winfrey. I think the first time I saw Oprah was in the movie "The Color Purple." I can't recall any of the details, but I know that she gave an emotional performance in that movie.

During the past few years I have seen her on her show -
The Oprah Winfrey Show - interviewing well-known personalities. However, what really catches my interest is when she interviews ordinary persons who had to deal with extraordinary circumstances. Her interviews aren't conducted for publicity or for their 'sensational' appeal but they appear to be for some sincere reason.

Today, I just caught the episode where Oprah held a surprise baby shower for the 640 pregnant moms of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It's one of those episodes where she (and her sponsors) gave out thousands of dollars worth of gifts. Johnson & Johnson even gave out $1,000 to each expectant mother for them to buy plane tickets to bring a friend or a relative over for the birth of their child - that alone was worth $640,000! Of course, many companies won't pass a chance for their products to be on the show because of the exposure that comes with it. At least, in my opinion, this kind of advertising actually touches other people's lives in the process.

However, what really makes Oprah's show special is that I think it really touches lives. You can't fake the emotions of these mothers when they saw the gifts and when they heard the songs sang by Oprah's guests.

Oprah's story is really a 'rags to riches' story. She experienced being abused and molested; She was poor - that didn't stop her. In 2003, Forbes disclosed that Oprah Winfrey was the first African-American woman billionaire. In 2005, Forbes listed her among the 10 most powerful women in the world.

I honestly think she deserves her fame and fortune. The world needs more people like her.
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