• I read an blog article from the Washington Post about Oprah titled,Oprah Winfrey, Spiritual Leader?” by Elizabeth Tenety. It was very interesting but I think what fascinated me most were some of the extremely negative comments people left after the article.

    Now I’m not an avid Oprah show viewer, although my better half has been on-and-off for years, but I will say that Oprah is definitely one of the greatest icons of the 21rst century.  It seems though that the respondents to the aforementioned blog were not happy that Oprah referred to her calling in life to be a spiritual leader.

    To get technical, the definition of a Spiritual Leader is –noun a leader in religious or sacred affairs. It would seem evident that Ms. Winfrey would fit the bill for the term spiritual leader considering she is one of the most influential people on the planet who shares messages of her love of God, people and all that exists.  She appears to be continuously trying to help others in their plights as well as donating her name and money to assist people in need around the globe.

    My guess is the imbalance of negative comments that followed the blog is probably just a fluke and not a reflection of most people’s feelings.  Based on the millions of viewers, readers and people that tuned into her A New Earth webcast with spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, it appears that many see the benefit in what Oprah has to offer.

    It does sadden me to see or hear people still belittling others phenomenal accomplishments on the premise of right or wrong in the name of religion. One person called “thetroubleboys” said

    “The only God Ms. Winfrey believes in has writing on its back that reads ‘in God we trust.’ She is self-centered, controlling, spouting new-age rubbish to, until recently, suit her ratings and con the bored housewives that drool over her every word Her show – and now network – is one module short of Scientology. She is today’s L. Ron Hubbard.”

    My wish is that one day, sooner rather than later, that there will not be difference or disrespect between religion and spirituality. Maybe spiritual beliefs ‘the troubleboys’ refers to as ‘new-age rubbish’ would be more accepted  if there was a box that one could check on forms that said ‘spiritual’ instead of ‘no-preference’ when asked what people’s religious affiliation are. Maybe it would be seen as another belief just as valid as those who check Judaism, Christianity, or Buddhism etc and not an anti-religious or atheistic choice.

    Maybe not.  But overall – I envision our world moving towards the accepting of all people’s beliefs regardless of their label, even if they don’t agree with it. And because of this I will say that although I may disagree with troubleboys statement, he is so entitled.

    As for Oprah and her influence, I think it is a beautiful thing.  What a gift she has given so many…information, support, her own experiences, hope, sharing, caring, inspiration and most of all the ability to know that no matter who you are, where you come from or what obstacles you face—you can change the world.

    So for that, thank you and much respect Oprah.  Cheers to all you’ve done and to all that lies ahead for you.