> Oprah is back in the news again regarding the James Frey book, “A Million Little Pieces” that was represented to be non-fiction but turned out to be a mix of a little reality and a fair amount of Mr. Frey’s imagination. Originally, Oprah was a supporter of the book (she placed it on her prized book club list)but later came to excoriate Mr. Frey on national television for his lack of integrity.
There’s enough lack of integrity to go around here…so let’s follow the trail and see what we can learn.
First, Frey. There can be little question that the author, in his attempt to write a book that would titillate, abandoned some if not all of his principles to gain recognition and financial gain.
Second, Oprah was quick to provide us with yet another quick-fix, self-help guru without doing her homework as to whether he was who he purported to be or, in fact, had done what he said he had done.
Third, Frey’s publisher is the reason Oprah and Frey are back in the news. She seems to be working the speaker’s circuit condemning Oprah for taking her client, Frey, to task. To paraphrase her recent statements, she apparently believes that when someone admits to having been a drug addict and alcoholic, one should expect a certain amount of fiction in what is represented to be truth.
Finally, there’s us. Yes, there’s us. As difficult as this one is to face, we jumped on that bandwagon and bought the whole presentation, book, hook, line and sinker.
I know not everyone reading this watched the original show, or bought Frey’s book, or may even know any of this story. I was one of those people who came to the story after the fact. But too many of us did buy in. It’s what we do when we seek the quick-fix and want someone else to do the work and show us the way. We just want to show up and reap the benefit.
It doesn’t work that way.
Frey and Oprah and the publisher were each in a hurry to get where they wanted to go and, in their haste, found themselves quite lost. They may or may not have learned a thing or two from their experiences. Regardless, I suggest we do.
There are no quick-fixes. We are all responsible for what we say and do personally as well as what we support. Not stepping up and owning our mistakes doesn’t enhance our stature, it only diminishes it.
The dangers inherent in Frey’s lies and Oprah’s haste speak for themselves.
What’s more insidious and in need of special attention is the publisher’s ongoing perspective… for which she is being paid. Her position is that your past can be an acceptable excuse for knowingly and willfully conceiving bad behavior in your present. According to her, if you were once weak willed, we should expect that you will always be so…and worse yet, if you are…that’s okay too. We expect it.
My take is somewhat different. I believe that we’re all here to grow through our weaknesses. With sincere effort, intention, determination and connection to Source, that goal is attainable no matter how challenging the weakness.
I also believe that each moment is born anew with an infinite number of new possibilities. And most importantly, I believe in seeing and mirroring the highest good a person is capable of not excusing, or justifying, the worst.
I don’t know where James Frey stands on all of this at this moment. Or Oprah, for that matter.
The publisher is still creating a world where personal responsibility is put aside for personal gain.
That’s not the world I live in.