Thursday, December 23, 2010
oprah, jane fonda and what we need more of
I took Meaghan to the dentist today. There was a television in the lobby playing Oprah. Since we had to wait a bit for Meg's turn, we made ourselves comfortable and watched.
Jane Fonda was being interviewed. Among other matters, Jane was discussing her new book.
We caught the end of the interview during which Oprah decided to show pictures of some previous co-stars of Ms. Fonda. Oprah asked her to respond quickly with the first thought that came to mind when Ms. Fonda saw the picture.
A picture of Dolly Parton elicited the response “Laughter”. Ms. Fonda explained that if you’ve been with Dolly and haven’t laughed yourself silly, something was wrong. Dolly, it seems, is good at helping people laugh.
Then, Oprah put up a picture of Jane with her father, Henry. Without hesitation, Jane said: “Integrity.” Rarely do we hear the word integrity associated with movie stars these days. I thought, “Good for you, Henry. Good for you.”
After picture time, Jane shared how she has always tried to approach life from a learning standpoint. She hopes that when she comes to the end of her life (she’s in her 70’s now!) she can say truthfully that she never stopped learning.
Her comment resonated with me, so I searched online for a transcript of the show, hoping to quote her exact words. Instead, I found a summary of the show which said:
“When she was 59, Jane says she did a life review, which allowed her to forgive people in her life, including her parents. ‘The people who did you wrong or who didn't quite know how to show up, you forgive them,’ she says. ‘And forgiving them allows you to forgive yourself too.’"
Laughter, curiosity, integrity and forgiveness.
You can say whatever denigrating thing you want about Jane Fonda or Oprah or cheesy talk shows. Nothing (and no one) is perfect--for my part, those are some things I can get on board with.