Oprah Winfrey took the stage on Saturday to huge cheers from the Class of 2017. The media mogul spent time filming in the Atlanta metro area last year for her HBO movie, ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.’
During her speech, Oprah focused on the importance of ‘living a life of substance’ and empathizing with others – especially those on the other side of the political divide.
‘Nobody wanted to come to breakfast,’ Oprah said. ‘After two and a half hours I had those women not only eating croissants, but sitting around the table listening to each other’s struggles, hearing both sides and by the end they were holding hands and exchanging emails and phone numbers.
‘It’s possible. It can happen. I want you to work in your own way to change the world in respectful conversations with others.
‘I want you to enter every situation aware of its context, open to hear the truth of others and most important, open to letting the process of changing the world change you. That is the spirit of constructive engagement.’
Oprah talked about the more than 37,000 interviews she has conducted on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ over the past 25 years and told the graduates to try and understand what other people might be going through.
‘I had to learn to feel with others, which is what it means to be compassionate.