OWN It.

-By Caitlin Lee

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-“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”
- Oprah Winfrey (3)

Oprah's Life Experiences

She's not only known for her successful talk shows, but she's also known for being active in many charities, groups, being a genuine humanitarian. After having a troubled childhood, Oprah Gail Winfrey decided to do something with her life. She lived a life full of sexual abuse, drugs, and loneliness. Because of this, it made her strive to achieve the life she had always dreamed about. The quote above explains how she lives her life. She took a chance to try and make her life better, and make it the life she had always dreamed of.  To make this dream happen, she enrolled in Tennessee State University and began working in television and radio broadcasting (5). After this, she made a move to Baltimore where she had her own chat show "People Are Talking." After 8 years, she made the big move to Chicago where she hosted yet another morning talk show of her own. Oprah became interested in acting after this, and was given a role in Steven Speilberg's "The Color Purple." Oprah went on to launch her most well-known show, "The Oprah Winfrey Show", and even start her own production company, "Harpo Productions." (2) Though she's known for being the richest African American of the 20th century, and the world's only Black Billionaire, she donates a big percentage of her income to charity. Her "Angel Network" has raised more than $51,000,000 for girls' education in South Africa and also for victims of Hurricane Katrina. She has founded the Family for Better Lives foundation, which helped to create a database of convicted child abusers. (2)

Humanitarian Work

Though she's known for being the richest African American of the 20th century, and the world's only Black Billionaire, she donates a huge percentage of her income to charity. Her "Angel Network" has raised more than $51,000,000 for girls' education in South Africa and also for victims of Hurricane Katrina. She has founded the Family for Better Lives foundation, which helped to create a database of convicted child abusers. She's a very generous person and enjoys sharing her wealth with those in need. (2)

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Transcendentalist Qualities

Oprah Winfrey shows many transcendentalist qualities throughout her work and her life. She is confidence in her work and in herself. She's not afraid to open up and give the truth to her fans and supporters. The media may criticize her, but she doesn't let it bother her. She stays confident and believes in herself.

Oprah also shows the self-reliance quality. She is a very independent woman and makes that very clear throughout her talk shows and her charity work. She likes to depend on herself and not have to always rely on others. She gets the job done in an effective way, and that is how she has achieved success.

Ms. Winfrey is also a non-conformist. When people try to judge her and persuade her to believe certain things, she doesn't listen. She does what she believes and doesn't care if she is criticized. As she says, “Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others"(3). This is a very transcendentalist quote all in itself.

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (6)

This quote by Emerson basically states that everyone should be have their own individual goals in life. You shouldn't go by those of others. You should carve your own path in life and try to achieve your goals. Don't be a follower. This quote relates to Winfrey because she does exactly this in her life. She tries to do things her own way, and not follow the path of others.

Connection to Society

These transcendentalist qualities, such as confidence, non conformity, and self-reliance connect to many individuals in society. Everyone should have the confidence to make their dreams happen. They should live the lives that they dream about. They need to try to achieve their goals and not let anything stand in their way. Society also has those people that still do not conform. They are individuals and make their own decisions about their lives. They make the choices that are best for them and don't let society influence their choices. These people are sometimes hard to find in society today. Self-reliance is something that needs to be focused on these days. Many people in our society depend on others to support them. Society needs to learn to be more self-reliant and try to succeed in life on their own. These qualities are mostly found in our society, but some can be implemented even more. Oprah is very influential in this sense, encouraging people to be their own person and not conform with others. She tries to influence them into making the best decisions for themselves and to be confident in those decisions. Oprah is a very confident person, and she can motivate others to better themselves.

Works Cited

(1)  Fajr Muhammad, Fajr. "Women Who Werk Icon: Oprah Winfrey." Stylish Thought. N.p., 6 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Dec. 2012. (2)  "Oprah Winfrey Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012. (3)  "Oprah Winfrey Quotes." Oprah Winfrey Quotes (Author of In the Kitchen with Rosie). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012. (4)  "Oprah Winfrey Show TV Show - Oprah Winfrey Show Television Show - Yahoo! TV."Oprah Winfrey Show Television Show. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012. (5)  "Oprah Winfrey." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 14 Dec. 2012.   (6)  "Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes." Brainy Quote. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012.

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