Full disclosure: I woke up at 5am as usual and was very tempted to go back to bed for another hour. I just wasn’t feeling this (more about why this coming Femme Friday).
But, I reminded myself of the important vision I have for the year, did my morning ritual and headed out to revel in the 33-degree temps, finally warm enough to resume my daily walk! Cheesy as it sounds, I decided on my walk to have a theme for each day of my blog/vlog production and that Monday would be Motivational Monday. Very original, I know. (The others will be Tactical Tuesday, Working Parent Wednesday, Thought Experiment Thursday, and Femme Friday—stay tuned!)
But, motivation is what I need on Monday morning, and I thought that might be true for you too.
I don’t have a TV and keep my weekends fairly tech-free, so it wasn’t until this morning that I had the pleasure of watching Oprah’s Golden Globe Awards speech, and I changed my subject because this was the most inspirational topic I could think of for this day and time.
Yes, there are unsung activists and normal people fighting the battles. But public moments like this one, one in which Oprah acknowledged that racism and sexism are horrid and are on the way out, are important. As she said, there are people you will never know about who have lived with these battles, people with children to feed, bills to pay, and dreams to pursue.
The themes that rose from her talk that seemed important to all of us who are sharing a space at this fireside are:
You have models
You have a voice
You are a model
You have role models: Winfrey opened her speech with a description of herself as a little girl in 1964, watching Sidney Poitier win the Academy Award for Best Actor and how meaningful it was for her to see a Black person celebrated in that way.
You have a voice: In my video today, this is what I talk about—how each of us can speak our truths to free ourselves and those around us. It’s been a little more than a year since I wrote an open letter to my father about how he molested me as a child, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself, my children, and so many friends and strangers who’ve been given a voice for their own truths. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the #metoo movement that’s sprung up towards the end of 2017 and seems to be taking root as lasting change, much of which was exemplified by the work done by actresses and activists alike in acknowledging and promoting a shift towards gender equality in Hollywood and in all workplaces.
You are a role model: After Winfrey describes her experience with Poitier, she acknowledges that she is aware there are Black girls watching her become the first Black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Award. While you have people ahead of you on the path to look to for clues of how to think and act, for inspiration on those Monday mornings when you know you must take action, but would rather take rest—You are that someone for another person. Whether it’s your children, your co-workers, or the strangers you interact with throughout the day, someone is looking to you and your life to see that they can make it to the milestones you’ve reached.
What do you need today? Do you need to identify a role model? Use your voice? Remember who’s looking to you and what they are learning?
I really want to know. Leave a note in the comments or reach out to me privately if you prefer.
From all of me to all of you,