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Carol Perkins: What will I do without Oprah?

By Carol Perkins

As I watched Oprah's final show, I should have been taking notes. Not that what she said was a new revelation, but I had never heard it put so powerfully. Here are my favorite two messages:

"You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself and you are responsible for the energy that you bring to others." I admit that I don't always generate positive energy. When I rise in the morning I plan to be positive, but sometimes I slip when negative people or events or a rowdy dog, who has barked at a squirrel hanging out in the garage, waltz into my life.

I can't always isolate myself from those whose energy drains me. Before I know it, their acid disposition has soured my own, and I don't recognize myself.

Among your own family or friends, some are pleasant, happy, and uplifting, but some are not. I made the mistake of asking a person sitting next to me at a gathering how her brother was. "I have no idea; I haven't seen him or spoken to him in months." Goodness, I tried to back out of that one quickly, but all I did was open the door and for fifteen minutes listened to the flaws of her family.

I love those in my life who light up a room. One of my friends does this well. People gravitate to her. She can find something funny during a funeral, a revival, or an event where silence is a necessity. We try never to sit near here during these times. Even when she is annoyed, she is amusing.

Another of my friends is a ball of happy energy, too. At her surprise fiftieth birthday party, when she saw the crowd gathered in the back yard of her friend's home, she jumped into a swimming pool with her clothes on to show her excitement. Strangers on airplanes will know her before deplaning, and she will probably have their email address. I don't see her often and miss being with her.

My disposition improves when I am with electrifying energy. It is catching.

The second message was a good one for parents, teachers, bosses and coaches/leaders of children. She talked about how every person has the same need, no matter his station in life or background and that is to be seen, heard, and to know what he/she says matters. From the President to a child in a first grade classroom, each wants to be validated.

Have you ever felt invisible? I have been in the middle of telling something and the person with whom I am talking hears her phone ringing in her purse and dives for it. She begins another conversation or texts the other person. "Hello, I was talking to you!" That is just one example. Oprah loved her fourth grade teacher because she validated Oprah. My second grade teacher, Leona Emberton, validated me.

No matter how old we are, we seek those who exude positive energy and we long for validation. Guy would say, "That is a bunch of sappy nonsense." I would respond, "Get thee behind me, oh negative energy!" What will I do without Oprah?

This story was posted on 2011-06-19 04:28:32
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