Have I mentioned that I am a HUGE Oprah fan? Like seriously huge! Did you know that I actually met her once...in 2001 in Chicago?...I'm not sure that I've ever mentioned that, but that's another story for another post. She is inspiring and generous and wise, and in person all of that is not only magnified, but it is also genuine.
This afternoon, I happened to have a free TV moment to clear some of my Oprah Network shows off of the DVR. I watched Building a Dream: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. I had just come from an especially thought provoking, spirit-filled Institute class, and an equally enlightening weekend of Stake Conference, so this afternoon I was completely swept up in the lives of all these little girls in South Africa. I cried as I watched their stories and thought about the disadvantages some children have to live with. Some of these girls are orphans, some have to walk miles in unsafe neighborhoods just to get to school, some only eat once a week. If I had to endure even a small part of their circumstances, I'm sure I would end up piled in a useless heap somewhere. (really...just the thought of living without indoor plumbing makes me fall apart.) But somehow they have spunk, and radiance, and motivation. It was truly inspiring.
I thought about the privileges and abundance that my children are surrounded by in this place where we live. They have no idea what it's like to be uncomfortable. Even in our most difficult times, we always had a warm home, a safe neighborhood, and something to eat. I thought about the amazing opportunity my kids have to attend school freely and safely, to take music lessons, to perform, and to have so many options available to them so early in their lives. They don't have to wonder if they'll eat a meal. They don't have to hope they make it to school without being attacked. They don't have to sleep in a tiny little shack with rain dripping down on their heads.
So, I thought it would be a good idea to share this show with them tonight for Family Home Evening. They were quiet and respectful and patient while I cried through the whole thing once again (how grateful I am to have children who are ALL old enough to do that...FHE with little ones was SO hard for me!) And then they had some really insightful things to say afterward. (I love that they're old enough to do that, too.)
I loved watching this with my family. I loved seeing it through their eyes. I don't know if it will make my kids stop complaining about homework, but it was a good thing for them to see that there is so much more to the world than what they think they know. Maybe somewhere down the road they'll think about something they saw tonight and they'll be a little more grateful for the things they have. Maybe they'll be inspired to be more generous. Maybe they'll serve a mission in South Africa! :)
I love that there is so much truth and light in the world. I love that people are kind and generous and inspire others to be the same. And I love that as a family, we manage to carve out one night a week to just sit for an hour and talk about that stuff. (And man, do I LOVE that pink dress Oprah's wearing in that picture!!)
"The truth is, your legacy is every life you have ever touched. And that is true for me, it is true for every person who is reading this, it's true for you. The imprint, the heart print that you leave on every person's life that you're exposed to - that is your real legacy." - Oprah