The three things that I want to leave with you just these three I could do ten, I could do a whole life class But just these three things will carry you if you let them first and foremost Knowing who you are Knowing who you are being able to answer this question Who am I and what do I want? You know many times when I go out of the country I am baffled by that question To explain what is your occupation? I’ve stood there for 10 minutes. Well am i a talk show host well, I’m more than a talk show host. Am I a businesswoman? I’m a businesswoman.
I’m more than a businesswoman Am i an entrepreneur? I’m more than an entrepreneur.So I just leave it blank or self-employed So I’m not asking for the roles that you play as daughters i’m not asking that question What are the roles that you play as a daughter as a friend as a sister you’re gonna be a lawyer you’re gonna teach You’re gonna be a pharmacist. I’m asking the bigger question Of Who am I? Who am I really? My answer is I am God’s child. I am. I am that which is born of all that is I am as. PA de Chardin said a spiritual being having a human experience Come trailing the breath of the ancestors yet, but trailing the breath of the angels and understanding that because I am connected to the source of all that is All that is possible is possible for me That’s who I am and What do I want I don’t want to just be? successful in the world I don’t want to just make a mark, or have a legacy The answer to that question for me is I want to fulfill the highest? truest expression of myself as a human being I I want to fulfill the promise that the Creator? Dreamed when he dreamed the cells that made up me what do I want you must have Some kind of vision for your life even if you don’t know the plan you have to have a direction in which you choose to go I never was the kind of woman who liked to get in a car and just go for a ride I had a boyfriend would say let’s just go for a ride.
I want to know where are we going? Do we have a destination is there a plan or we just ride What I’ve learned is that’s a great metaphor for life You want to be in the driver’s seat of your own life because if you’re not life will drive you So Knowing who you really are in this space and time that we embody That’s number one what do you want? Who are you number two? You must find a way to serve Martin Luther King Said that not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service now we live in a world where everybody wants to be famous and Where we admire people for just being famous? We think being known brings us value The truth is all of that will fade in time in three years. You won’t be able to name the Housewives a banana The real truth is that Service and significance Service and the significance that you bring to your service is that which is lasting? so to be able to whatever your occupation or job or talent or gift is our honorees today getting doctor degrees to apparently opposite fields HIV and AIDS and the spoken word But what they have in common is? service Using the spoken word in service to community in the world Using your knowledge and information about HIV and AIDS and medicine in service to the world And if you look at all the most successful people in the world Whether they know it or not they have that paradigm of service Everybody’s talking about Mark Zuckerberg, and I appeal Service JZ rapid service through the word to people through song For many years I was really just happy to be on TV and people would stop and say oh you on TV Yeah, I’m on TV.
I like being on TV It’s a nice job and it was about the time that I received my Honorary Doctorate from Spelman around 1993, so I don’t know if that had something to do with it. I thought of myself as dr. Winfrey Then I went back and I took the long look at what it was I was doing on on TV and made a decision that I was no longer going to just be on TV but I was going to use TV as a platform as a force for good and Not be used by TV, and I will tell you My decision To make that significant change in the way, I operated on Television using television as a service changed my career exponentially Service through medicine service through art Using whatever it is you produce your product as a way of giving back to the world When you shift the paradigm of whatever it is you choose to do to service, and you bring significance to that? Success will I promise you follow you service and significance equals success That’s number two number three.
It’s so simple, but so hard to do always Do the right thing? Always Be excellent people notice Think of how you notice you go to Taco Bell somebody gives you extra napkin and some sauce you notice you Want to go back to that person because even at Taco Bell Excellence shows itself be excellent let excellence be your brand Everybody talks about building a brand I never even knew what that was When people say you’re a brand, I would say no. I’m just Oprah what I recognize now. Is that my choice to it every way in Every example and every experience To do the right thing and the excellent thing is what has created the brand Years ago I did an ad for Revlon for for an ad they were doing called unforgettable women and what I know is that when you are excellent you become unforgettable People remember you you stand out we got us of what it is you become an unforgettable woman and That is what we all want we want to be unforgettable and not forgettable So doing the right thing? even When nobody knows you’re doing the right thing We’ll always bring the right thing to you.
I promise you that why? Because the third law of motion is always at work for every action. There’s an equal and opposite reaction That is so true in all of our lives That’s what Newton said Sealian the color purple said it Everything you even try to do to me Already done to you Everything you even try to do to me Already done to you so you don’t have to worry about revenge or Getting back at somebody making sure they pay you just have to do the right thing and the right thing will follow you even when people don’t support it I remember many times on my show there are many shows y’all never saw and the reason you didn’t see them is because I Got the last vote and I remember 2010 My team hardest working team in television had done this Interview with a woman who turns out she was a Sunday school teacher by day and a sex addict at night whoo They were like you won’t believe it We got her going out we got her with the men and we get to show her and she was willing to show us everything I Sat down with a woman for an interview that was taped and During the process of the interview I said why are you doing this and she said oh? I want to help the people I want to tell my story And I want to help people I said do you have children? She says yes, I have a ten-year-old son I Knew right then this is never gonna see the light of day, so We got off the air, and I said to the lady.
We are not going to air that show and She said why? My producer said why? She knew she was being filmed She knew what she was saying. She knows what you I said because her son will never get over it Her son will never get over it and it’s not worth a rating point to me Not worth the rating point to me to know that there’s a ten-year-old boy Who’s destroyed because his mother went on The Oprah Winfrey Show and told all her business? You do the right thing even When other people think it may not be and oftentimes when you make a decision to do the right thing Immediately you’re faced with doubt was that the right thing was that the right decision I don’t know was that the right thing you always know.
It’s the right thing when in the end There is peace You are rewarded by peace and knowing that you did the right thing The most important thing I have come to know in doing the right thing and making the right choices is Understanding What we talked about yesterday All of you leaving here have the potential for enormous success There’s a price that comes with that People don’t always like you and they’re not always happy for you and if you surround yourself with people Who are not accustom to your success? They become fearful they become scared Because you are reflecting back something to them, but they don’t recognize now. They’re not going to say You know I’m very fearful Because you’re reflecting back to me Something I don’t recognize They’re going to say you know what they’re gonna say they’re gonna say who she thinks she is Who’s she thinks she is that only happens when you are around people who do not mean and Want and aspire to the best for you? People who want the best for you want you to be your best So my greatest advice to you is to surround yourself with People who are going to fill your cup until your cup runneth over So when people say you’re so full of yourself you can say yeah Yes, I’m full I’m so full my cup runneth over and To know that once your cup runneth over you cannot spend your life with your Gallon-sized offerings Offering them to pint-sized people You have got to surround yourself with gallon-sized people Who can hang in the same company with you? So that you’re not offering your Gallants to those little pipes out there Who can’t hold it anyway? Choice to change the world I love that song I Love hearing you all sing that song and what I know for sure is that the biggest choices? Begin and end with you your internal big questions Who do I want to be in the world my relationship to Source Energy? To all that is God.
I’m not talking about what you believe in God. I’m talking about your Experience of that which is all life, which is divine and universal. I’m talking about the big deal Being connected and aligned with that when you are Tuned in and charged into that whenever you feel empty you go inside yourself And you connect to the source and you know that all things are possible To know that and to choose to do the right thing in service and significance I promise you You will create a vessel of service For yourself first because you have to honor yourself first you have to give to yourself first, otherwise you have nothing to give away You will create a vessel for yourself for your family Your community and the world and those three things Will not only lead you to a blessed life I Stand as a witness my life is so blessed.
I can’t even take it in sometimes It will lead you not just to a gifted life and a rewarding life that fills you up But a sweet life That’s what you want You want the sweetness you? Want it to be so sweet? so that even when the storms come and they will You’ll know this too shall pass This too shall pass the storm is passing over and You shall not be moved Because you know who you are When you can do that Grace will follow you grace and glory and when they see you coming it ought to make them proud They say it’s the click of your heels. It’s the bend of your hair It’s the palm of your hand. It’s a need for your care. Coz’ you a woman you a Spelman woman Phenomenally phenomenal class of 2012, Thank you. .
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