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When I look at the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.
~ Oprah Winfrey

When you look in the mirror, who do you see in the reflection? I’m not referring to your facial features like your eyes, nose, and mouth. I’m talking about looking deeper into the mirror. Do you catch a glimpse of your honesty, respectfulness, empathic nature, and servitude towards others? Do those “others” see you as you see yourself or do they see someone different? If you asked someone to write five positive attributes about you, what would they be? Would they equate to how you view yourself? It would be interesting to know if others see you the way you see yourself…or do they see more!

Oprah Winfrey was about 28 years old when she first read Alice Walker’s award-winning book, The Color Purple. After she heard it was being made into a movie, she set her sights on landing a role as Sofia and made her big-screen debut shortly after landing her own talk show host. She said it was the most important thing she had ever wanted to do in the world, so, after all the intense, emotional acting came to an end as the filming was over, she said, “I guess it’s all over now. Everything is done.” Not so fast, Oprah! Quincey Jones saw something in her that she hadn’t seen in herself. He looked at her and said, “Baby, your future’s so bright it burns my eyes.” He saw the potential she had in a successful future. He added a reflection to her mirror she hadn’t yet seen. As a result, Oprah did become a superstar and now paraphrases Jones’ quote with, “When I look at the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes.”

In today’s world, adults can sometimes be so busy that they don’t have time to reassure teenagers during those adolescent years that they are worthy and have so much talent to share with the world. They are vulnerable and some need our reassurance that they have a bright future ahead of them. We can help them believe that when they look in the mirror, there is a bright future ahead for them.

To you, our RGV LEAD partners, keep looking at that bright future and get those sunglasses out…we’re all gonna shine so bright we’re gonna need ‘em!

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