In concluding our Jane Austen segment we decided to pose a question to the women of the 21st century on behalf of Jane Austen and her 19th century peers. This was:
What are we doing with our ability to self determine and the opportunity to amass wealth in our own right?
We could start here with a lengthy description of Oprah's career, but that is well documented elsewhere. The more important thing to focus on with Oprah is that she is the very embodiment of a worthy answer to Jane Austen's question. Oprah is the voice and vision of the 21st century's most influential women.
It is not so much what Oprah has achieved, whilst this is important both for women of colour and women in general (she was the first black women to make the Forbes list of millionaires), or about how much she gives to charity. Many of the things that Oprah does could be achieved by anyone with great wealth.
Some millionaires fund charitable projects without giving of themselves. But this is simply giving money for a good cause, whereas Oprah naturally gives of herself as well. She is personally interwoven with the process of her giving.
But what makes Oprah different?
She is certainly not on her own in her commitment to personal investment and giving. Many women give of themselves on a regular basis, as volunteers at hospitals and charity organisations, carers in the community and wherever there is need. These women are the backbone of local communities around the world, but very few make it to being rich and famous. They are the unsung heroines amongst us.
If Oprah had not achieved billionaire status, she would still very likely be involved in the same sort of things, but on a less grand scale. Why? Because it would be part of her core make up.
So what does this mean for us in the context of Pink Investments?
One of the most affirming things that we can take from the example of Oprah is that you can have both success and wealth, but still remain true to your core values. Who you are does not change with wealth and success. It simply accentuates your natural traits.
Oprah, like the Pink Investments team, has long believed that education is the door to freedom, offering a chance at a brighter future. During a speech at Dukes University Oprah said "You haven't completed the circle of success, until you have helped someone else move to higher ground and get to a better place."
The more successful you are the more you are able to make a difference. This provides a good enough reason to work at your own financial life. As your financial stability increases, you will be able to devote more time and resources to you personal causes.
Oprah proves that there is a good reason to work at your financial life because, if you are the type of women who wishes to give of yourself then achieving financial stability and success means you will be able to do that all the more.
One of Oprah's most striking quotes was associated with luck. She said, "I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity".
Taking this excellent quote and applying it to your life and situation today will make a difference. Stop waiting to win the lottery. Invest in yourself by taking the first step to achieving financial independence, today.
Try our learning centre, it isn't designed to mirror formal education, it is more like learning something from a friend or family member. You can pick up on a subject you need to know more about or are interested in and spend some time brushing up on your skills. For women who spend most of their lives putting everybody else first, prioritise yourself today, empower yourself to help others tomorrow.
In conclusion, at the top of this page we stated clearly that this would not be a chronology of Oprah's many achievements, but you didn't really think we would leave this segment without mentioning a few of her many awards.
Oprah's most important awards
Like all women in the spotlight, Oprah has a great many fans. Whatever your feelings are on Oprah, it is undeniable that she has affected change in a great many people's lives. Here are just a few of her many awards that we feel personify Oprah the woman.
Bob Hope humanitarian award 2002. Humanitarian award from the United Nations in 2004, Elia Weisel humanitarian award in 2007. In 2008 she again reached the top of 'The Giving Back Fund' list of the top 30 most generous celebrities, for her Oprah Winfrey Foundation and Oprah's Angel Network, spending US$50.2 million on education, health care and advocacy for women and children worldwide.