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By Tanya M. Wilson


Last week, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ended marking 25 years of production. The tribute that aired Monday and Tuesday of the final week, was not only star studded, but filled with a few glimpses into Oprah the person and the things that are important to her off camera.

The generosity that has been exhibited over the years is nothing short of historic. Her shows have provided life-changing opportunity for so many.

The cars and trips for entire audiences are of course impressive, and even at times hard to imagine. But what is most notable for me is her willingness to allow the money she has been blessed to acquire to pay blessings forward to someone else.

There was no prouder moment for me than to see over 400 Morehouse “The House” men, flooding the stage, all recognizing Oprah for the gift of education that she so freely provided. Out of that gift came doctors and lawyers, executives, professors and much more. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the lesson in generosity was planted and now these gentleman have organized a foundation to provide education to those in need, launched with $300,000 of their own money. Talk about making a difference.

In addition to the tributes offered by the Oprah Show, many tributes are taking place all over the world. One of the most noteworthy here in Charlotte was a tribute I was honored to attend hosted by former Judge Shirley Fulton at the historic Wadsworth Estate. As I listened to many of the invited guest share their favorite Oprah Show moment, I was in awe. The room was filled with many of the top brass in our community, each with an Oprah moment of their own. Living legends in their own right, paying tribute to a sister legend in Oprah. Awesome!

Oprah’s efforts bring to mind Proverbs 11:25 (NIV), a generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. In that verse there is no mention of money interestingly enough. That means money does not have to be the precursor for generous contribution. Even though Oprah allowed her money to bless others, her contributions were much greater. There is a lesson in that, we each are gifted in our own special way and I am convinced that someone is standing in the need of our contribution.

Over the years I have heard different views on Oprah. Some have raved about her shows and all that she offers her audiences, and then there are some, that take the opportunity to discredit her. But to me, it’s about recognizing the gift of another human being trying to make a difference. She has done that successfully and I am very proud of my sister.

Congratulations Oprah on 25 meaningful years.

Read more columns by Tanya Wilson, an inspirational speaker based in Charlotte. Find her on Facebook.

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