Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oprah Opine

Oprah, Oprah, Oprah. What are some of my thoughts on Oprah. Let's see...

Would I do lunch with her? Sure would. In a heartbeat.

Do I find her interesting? Absolutely.

Is she influential? Without a doubt. Her circle of influence is nearly unparalleled. And here's where things get sticky for me.

People hang on her every word. People make medical, spiritual, relational decisions based upon her show. People decide for whom to vote, based upon her observations and admonitions. Oprah helps shape the beliefs and values of our culture and beyond.

What? You say, the menfolk don't care about Oprah? Maybe so. Certainly, that is true in our household. But I'm sure my husband would say that he has heard on more than a single occasion, about something Oprah said or did on her show. (insert eye roll from dh here) And many husbands are swayed or influenced by their wives' input.

And lastly? The wisdom. Oh my, the wisdom.

I consider influence to be something that should be recognized by the holder of the influence and then, exercised with caution and reverence. Influence should be used responsibly. Oprah has several 'beliefs' she champions over and over. Some of these are allmost Christian. Sometimes, I cannot tell whether Oprah believes in God the way I do at all and other times I am certain she must.

For me, one of the most offensive pearly nuggets is this gem,

"When you know better, you do better".

Whenever I hear her toss that one out into my living room, I either want to scream or alternatively, I *do* scream. "
Aggggghhhhh!", I will scream. "That is so. not. true!!"

If wisdom alone caused someone to do better, I would not be overweight. I would not eat white flour, white sugar or empty calories. I would not cease praying. I would not be crabbypants with my family. I would not worry about things over which I have not control. I would not compulsively surf the web. I would not insult others, ever. I would not gossip, period. I would not, I would not, I would not.

Oh, but I do. Over and over and over again, I sure as shootin' do. Even though I know better, I do not do better.

Does knowledge have the potential to cause a person to change their ways, to improve their game, to *do* better? Of course. But knowing and doing are two entirely different things and they can exist quite happily apart from one another, never meeting in some cosmic, life-changing big bang.

As a Christian, it is my belief that no true and lasting change can come without a changing on the inside. As far personal experience goes, this has also been my journey. I have wanted to change various things in my life, my habits, my less-than-desirable quirks over the years and without exception, I have been unable to bring about positive, permanent change simply by "knowing better". Or by the sheer force of my will or self-control.

I can change for a time. I can change on the outside (so people can't see the uglies), but that is not the same as the change that Jesus brings two me.

I am in no way discounting the importance of knowledge. I love, love, love to learn new things. I love to research. I love to ponder. I love to surf the net, following my free-associative thoughts. I would absolutely say that knowledge can assist in the making of sound decisions. Personally, I will not make my most important decisions without time to research, process, ponder (and pray).

So, what do you think about "knowing better = doing better"? Fact or fiction? Does this bumper sticker slogan fit with your experience?Do you have personal stories to share that illustrate your point?

Now, if I can only figure out how to get to do lunch with Oprah? I would love to get her to talk about this, to see what she'd say. We could go out to some fabulous little place she knows or we could stay in and have her chef prepare us something. Either way. I'm flex. I wonder if she'll call or if I'm going to have to call her? (smile)

(I forgot to post this yesterday, but it was written then, so I consider that I am on target still for NaBloPoMo. Hope that's OK with you).

Added: PS As I was nearing the end of the post, I felt some sort of deja vu thing going and and realized I had already touched on this idea in this post. Oh well. Addled are Us. Just call me Aunt Clara. ha ha ha

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