Tuesday, April 3, 2012

OWN: The Antidote to 24/7 Cable News

To any of the myriad of news organizations out there that have been predicting the demise  of the OWN network,  the reports have been greatly exaggerated. One need only to have been in the audience, as I was yesterday afternoon at Radio City Music Hall to know that. Some six thousand people, mostly women, filled the seats of what is perhaps the greatest venue anywhere. The people I talked to came on buses, trains, planes and cars. They were friendly and happy and grateful that their name had been picked out of all the requests to attend. They have not written off Oprah and her network. They are just reigniting their love affair. And they were patient as they waited on line to be ushered to their seats.

Not like those who  have Google Alerts set for Oprah + OWN + failure and await the next update. Or those of our media who insist upon writing and reporting on the news from a place of scarcity and fear.  Ingrained to look for the worst, find the chinks in the armor, get out of the present and predict doom and gloom because that is what they are directed to do from their corner offices.  They are convinced that is what makes headlines and that is what creates ratings which creates higher ad rates and more advertisers and of course, more money.

None of that ilk is willing to be brave and step forward and take a chance that just maybe that is not true. Just maybe the world is clamoring for something new and refreshing. Something without backstabbing, lies and angry words. Something that will inspire them to live their best lives. Except Oprah.

At a time in her life, where money is not of consequence. When she could as she said, sit under her tree with her dogs and read books, she sees a greater purpose to her success. She wants to use her voice and her platform as a source of inspiration.

Oprah is not a quitter. Oprah is willing to get on CBS This Morning and talk about how much more difficult this is than what she expected. She displays humility and realness and the press twists that  to create an unflattering soundbite. Again, because they are convinced the only reality we want is scripted “reality” television.

I believe they are the ones wrong and Oprah is the one who is right. I am not sure she could have picked a more perfect time than this time, as the world undergoes such a dramatic energetic shift to launch a network with an entirely new and untried format. 

Real change is never easy.  Those who don't like it wait for it to fail, in fact even hope that it does. Because that in some twisted way allows them to stand still, justify their own lives and not risk what they have for what might be.  

I'm an idealist and an optimist. I believe more want hope. They want guidance. They want inspiration. They want to let go of their fears. And Oprah is offering them that 24/7, seven days a week. The antidote if you will to 24/7 cable news.

I'm still reverberating in the energy of yesterday's experience. To be in that room, to see Oprah's brilliance on stage aside the wisdom and gentle humor of Deepak Chopra (who for the record I am more in love with than ever) reminded me of why I am doing what I am doing. To live my life with purpose, to inspire others and to paraphrase Deepak, help to transform the world through my personal transformation.

And Oprah, if I should be so lucky that you read this blog, in answer to the question we were asked in advance of the taping, what is the one thing that would most change your life at this moment, mine would be you reading my novel, The Secrets They Kept and adding it to your Book List!

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