Yesterday, one of the most influential and important people in the world, Oprah Winfrey, addressed the graduating class of Harvard University. Like many this graduation season, including President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Kerry Washington and more, Oprah shared an important message of hope and inspiration. She specifically addressed her speech to those who ever felt “inferior, disadvantaged or screwed by life.”
“To say that I’m honored doesn’t even begin to quantify the depth of gratitude that accompanies an honorary doctorate from Harvard,” said Oprah at the start of her speech. “Not too many girls from rural Mississippi have made it all the way here to Cambridge.”
Throughout her nearly 30-minute speech she recapped her career and even highlighted her failures. She called last year the worst period in her professional life. “I was frustrated and quite frankly, I was embarrassed,” said Oprah.
She went on to say that failure is life trying to move us in another direction as she described her process of taking her network from the bottom to the top of the ratings charts. But perhaps the most moving message came when she quoted theologian Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Check out Oprah’s inspiring speech above.