Prior to 2006, I had never watched an episode of Oprah. I know – can you believe it? Since that time, I have become an avid follower of her work. I don’t tape every show – the ones on transgender and spouse swapping don’t really interest me – thank goodness for that! But seriously, I think that Oprah has a bigger influence on the North American society than the President or the Prime Minister. Scary but probably true. Recently I watched as her show advised people who had financial problems due to overspending and credit card debt. The show revealed financial institutions and credit card company’s implementation of interest rates that bordered on Al Capone business tactics. Transparency in their business methods was not their priority – making money certainly was. I was impressed with Oprah’s motives in trying to address the huge problem that exists with the debt load of North America. The lesson that she was trying to teach was one of learning to live within your means and understanding mortgages and their accompanying interest rates. There was certainly a lesson about the difference between credit card purchase debt and mortgage debt involved with the purchase of a home. My experience with the education system is that this lesson is being overlooked in the traditional school system and banks and credit card companies don’t mind that the public isn’t learning this lesson. Their motivation is for profit and the uninformed consumer is an easy target for their motivation. I applaud Oprah and company for trying to educate the public and to try to help improve the consumer’s life.
The topics that Oprah chooses tend to be topics that my age group (Oprah’s too!) would be interested in. For instance, since I am semi-retired, an empty-nester and a member of the sandwich generation, I am beginning to wonder if there isn’t something ‘more’ to life – or at least my life. Don’t get me wrong – being an egg queen and drinking Diet Coke certainly provide many exciting moments for me but I think that there has to be “more”. So far, I haven’t found it. I’ve enrolled in an online agricultural communications course and that has provided me with “some” but I really don’t think that this is the “more” that I’m looking for. I volunteered to help with a local community theatre production of a play and discovered that the “more” is not an actor in me ready to be born. Hollywood can breathe a collective sigh of relief! I’ve been offered several jobs that just don’t seem to say “pick me” so I am still on the hunt. I’ve considered attending law school or going to teacher’s college but so far, that’s not calling me either. This shouldn’t be a surprise since lawyers and teachers aren’t at the top of my “Most Admired” list. Maybe I’ll discover the “more” with my most recent attempt of enrolling in an online book discussion through Oprah. It’s the first one of its kind and already there are over 250,000 students enrolled! There must be a lot of people looking for “more” in their life. My first assignment is to read the book, A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. It needs to be done by March 3rd. Thankfully, I’m on ‘reading week’ from my communications course, so I’ll have no excuse but to be prepared for the 3rd. I’m anxious to read and discuss with others (from all over the world!) about their lives and what they are looking for. Will this book and discussion help them on their search? I’m looking forward to the experience and hope to share my findings here in my blog. Stay tuned!