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Oprah Winfrey: The Beacon Of Love

1512 words - 6 pages

"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always." - Oprah Winfrey-The power of an individual is the ability to beat the odds under harsh circumstances; once a person overcomes obstacles, this resilience reaches out to help others. An inspired person is an inspiring person, one who has had to overcome great struggles. Oprah Winfrey overcame great odds to become an unstoppable motivator and an altruistic woman. Due to these difficult obstacles, Oprah's power to overcome hardships was born; later, when she became a talk show host, this strength gave hope to millions of viewers around the world.Oprah Winfrey was born in 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi to an unmarried teenage girl. For a few years, she lived with her grandparents since her mother, Vernita Lee, left her behind to get a job. Oprah's grandmother emphasized the importance of education to young Oprah and taught her how to read and write when Oprah was only three years old. With her grandmother's harsh discipline and teaching, Oprah excelled in school and went directly into first grade, after just a few days of kindergarten. Her grandmother's discipline was unnecessarily strict and harsh. The childhood years with her grandmother caused feelings of isolation and loneliness. Recalling the early years she once said, "She could whip me and never get tired." (Alan Richman, "Oprah," People Weekly, p.50) For a five-year-old child, this was a horrifying incident. This harsh treatment at the hands of a family member must have caused emotional scarring.When Oprah was six, she moved to Wisconsin to live with her mother, Vernita Lee. Oprah received little direct attention from Vernita, because her mother was always tired and desperate to survive. During her teen years, Oprah was raped by several male relatives and molested by a family friend. She was also alienated by her peers. "You lose your childhood once you've been abused." (Orlando Sentinel (Florida)) Oprah's life was not going to be the same as before. After being abused, Oprah went through a great deal of deep emotional trauma. Her experience was humiliating and confusing, and it was the most difficult time in Oprah's life. The conflicts at home and hostile behaviors from her friends caused her to grow into a rebellious and uncontrollable young teen. When she was fourteen, she gave birth to a baby, who died soon after the birth.When Vernita realized that she could not handle Oprah, she sent her to live with her father, Vernon Winfrey. With strict discipline he changed Oprah's young life tremendously; he helped her succeed. "My father's discipline channeled my need for love and attention into a new direction. He saved me." (Norman King, "Oprah," Good Housekeeping, p.108) Vernon Winfrey was a mentor who motivated Oprah to overcome the hardships, strengthen her inner self, and move on. He believed that education was the key to success. He knew Oprah's potential and set high standards for her; he...

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