It was a speech for the ages from Winfrey, who clearly stood on the shoulders of all the powerful #MeToo commentary that preceded her. The icon grabbed the heavy, moist sentiment in the air and crystallized it into diamond-like oratory that will play on the highlight reel of poignancy for years to come.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Winfrey’s speech was a definitive stamp on an era ended, if #Time’sUp truly shows the final buzzer has sounded.
For now, I choose hope–something Winfrey so eloquently left us with:
And I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning — even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon!
But more importantly than hope–I know what action to take.
I have to admit I’ve felt uncomfortable as a man in the wake of #MeToo–a sense that Golden Globes host Seth Meyer attacked from his opening line: “Good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen”.
I’ve felt sickened and angered by the revelations but uncertain as to what I should do. Where do I channel my disgust? How could anything I say, in written or spoken word, be of any help whatsoever? What the hell right do I have to say anything at all?! What could I possibly add to the conversation as a man other than angry finger-pointing?
I admit that despite this national platform I’ve been blessed with as an author, speaker, and Inc columnist, I’ve been frozen in my tracks. Despite the fact that I write about workplace dynamics and the heart-centered How-To of it all I’ve been silent–silent on the single biggest workplace dynamic issue of our generation.
But when Oprah said the following, it clicked:
“Every man–who chooses to listen”
Duh. It’s a choice to listen, and not every man will. Perhaps the single most powerful way I can serve as a man is by empathetically doing so.
It turns out that the pen hasn’t been mightier than the sword this time around–it’s the ear. And mine is open to readers out there that want to lend me further guidance.
Looking for inspiration at work? Instead of asking how to find it, ask yourself how you lost it in the first place! We’re so excited for you to Find the Fire with us today!
This article by Scott Mautz also appeared on Inc.com. To read more Inc. articles by Scott Mautz, click here.