What I learned at dinner with Oprah


I was pleased to find that Oprah was very approachable and warm, although she is clearly one of the most famous and wealthiest persons I’ve met to date.  Her demeanor was relaxed and very gentle and she had no problem agreeing to my appeal for a “selfie.” The restaurant was rather dark but she took hold of my camera with hopes to find enough light to indulge my selfie habit.  Parenthetically, I have been creating selfies with my favorite people and people I meet in 2014 since January in the hopes to create a massive printed collage by year’s end.

At some moment in the evening a discussion began about social media and its influence on ministry.  A pastor was describing the successes his church was having by engaging his church and potential audience via social media, a dialogue I’m more than comfortable discussing!  Oprah admitted that she occasionally tweets, but that she doesn’t follow people just to follow them, “they have to have something interesting to say.” She also stated, “I’m very busy and I don’t really have a lot of time to tweet like someone else may.  I’m too busy living life than tweeting about it.”

Hmm. That was an interesting statement and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.   Of course those of us who are heavily plugged into social media have many reasons for doing so and we understand the power it can yield if approached strategically.  As a public relations and marketing professional, it is a huge part of what I do, for myself and for my clients, but her words plagued me a little.  Her sentiment made me think of how many of us in the business world are so plugged into our work – being on top of the latest trends, finding the next story, the next pitch, the best profitable way to expand business for ourselves and/or our clients, chasing success, that we could be letting real life moments pass us by.  It’s important for us to define what living life really means to us and to ask ourselves whether or not, when we put down our cell phones, when we become unplugged from email, spreadsheets, and social media (although they have their place) – are we really living? It would behoove us to take more time to connect with others face to face, treasure the lessons we learn just by talking to someone, and take back the true meaning of being social.

Perhaps it wasn’t a deep, philosophical conversation with the Queen of The Midas Touch, but it was an “Aha” moment for which I am grateful and humbled to have experienced.

Some of the attendees at the dinner included, Dr. Joseph Lowery, Dr. C. T. Vivian, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Dr. Caroll Baltimore, Sr., Bishop Paul Morton, Dr. Raphael G. Warnock,  and Bishop Walter Thomas.

“Selma” stars David Oyelowo (The Butler) as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah will play a supporting role as Anne Lee Cooper, who took on Sherriff James Clark in the voting registration line. “Selma” will get a limited release on Dec. 25, 2014, before opening nationwide on Jan. 9, 2015.  The film is directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere).

 To see a complete photo album of Candie’s night with Oprah – http://on.fb.me/1lQIv0L –  Pics taken on the set cannot be released until September, 2014.

This post first appeared on www.yourprdiva.com 

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