|Cardi B via IG (left) & Oprah listening to Cardi B’s album via instagram (right)|
By Ta-ning Connai
When I first saw the Instagram post of Oprah showing some love for Cardi B’s album ‘Invasion of Privacy,’ my first thought was, “Dang, Oprah done officially went hood!” Then my second thought was, “Dang, Oprah is ALWAYS shining light, even in the most unexpected places.” Now, when I say unexpected, what I mean is this…It’s no secret that Oprah has never been a fan of Hip Hop. Known for her stand against profanity, the N- word and materialistic overload, we’re led to believe that the genre’s prominent message conflicts with her Super Soul Sunday philosophy. Has she changed her position? I ain’t got a single clue, but one thing remains the same…No one is more moved by someone else’s success than the former queen of daytime TV. No one is more thrilled by a person’s rise to the top than the rags to riches phenom herself. And no one has a tradition of lifting others up quite like the lovely Miss O. She brightens up the room when she steps up in the place and we should all be inspired to do the same exact thing.
There’s some dark places with darkened souls everywhere we turn. And when God said, “Let there be light,” He wasn’t just talking to the sky, He was talking to us too! Matthew 5:14 says that we, “…are the light of the world,” which means that Oprah ain’t the only one to bring some sparkle into the atmosphere.
I used to HATE elevators. And even though it’s probably the shortest means of travel, just going from one floor to the next can feel like an eternity. To me, there is nothing more uncomfortable than being confined in a tight space with people who can’t wait to get away from you. Nobody wants to talk, not even hello; and they make it real clear by staring up at the illuminated numbers as they slooooowly move from 2 to 3 to 4…, as if it’s gonna magically make the ride go faster! They will play on their phone, twiddle their thumbs or hold their breath until they can fly like a bat out of hell as soon as the doors open. So, whenever you get on an elevator, expect to be completely ignored.
I often wondered what makes people so distant, so cold and so doggone rude. But then I realized that every single person has a story or a problem, and one of the few places where you can fake it is on an elevator. Someone may be fighting depression, or having family issues at home, or maybe their job makes them miserable, who really knows. Seeing the negative probabilities were endless, so I came up with a plan to offer some quick relief. Between the time an elevator opens and the time that it shuts, I figured a compliment would work well since they’re quick and everybody LOVES getting one. Sure, there was a fear of rejection, but what did I have to lose? I think I heard you say, “NOTHING,” and you’re absolutely right!
One very serious business man giggled like a child when all I said was, “Cool sunglasses!” Another woman shared her coveted shopping spot with me when I asked her to, “Give me those fabulous shoes!” A young girl shrieked with laughter when I begged her to, “Trade purses with me!” I recall so many faces flushed with true appreciation and total surprise. Sometimes people would miss their floors or get hit by the doors just to hang a little while longer! When I’d go my separate way, my eyes would sometimes swell up with tears because I was beginning to realize the effect that the love of God can have on people, particularly strangers in strange places.
The Lord’s light within us can transform the most dark and dead-spirited environment into a place full of delight. Am I saying become an office building blabbermouth? No way! An elevator is just an example that you can be a light anywhere: at the stop sign, the grocery store, the parking lot; everyone can use a quick smile, a good laugh, a kind word. So, no more waiting to shine big time in a fancy place in some fancy way. You can shine big, right here and right now. There’s a dark place that really needs you, so go ‘head, be like Oprah, and get your shine on!