I love Ellen Degeneres. There I said it. I’m a guy and I love Ellen Degeneres. My wife loves her, too. So does The Boy and The Girl. I’m willing to wager that the Hell Spawn (better known as Mia, the cat) and The Dog like her as well. I don’t have proof of this, but I’m going to say they do.
I know her show is geared toward women. Most talk-type shows are. But hers is different. First of all, she’s funny. That gives her a leg up on all daytime shows. Second, and this is more important than being funny, she is compassionate.
I’m just going to stop here for a moment. Compassion is defined as: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
I don’t particularly care much for the term ‘pity’ in there, but I firmly believe compassion is, indeed, concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. If there were ever a celebrity who has concerns for the sufferings and misfortunes of others, it is Ellen. If you think I am wrong, watch her show for a few days and you will see, not only humor and other celebrities, but you will see compassion. You will see a person who truly believes in helping others and who uses her star power for the betterment of people.
Cate watches Ellen every day. It is set to record every morning, and in the evening, usually around supper time, she sits on the couch and flips on Ellen. Sometimes when I am not in there with her, I hear Cate laughing and I can’t help but smile. Laughter makes the heart lighter, even on bad days. I’m good at making jokes and wisecracks and saying things to make people laugh, but Ellen is different. Her humor makes herself laugh, and why shouldn’t it? If you can’t laugh at yourself, then you’ll be the only one not in on the jokes. I love hearing Cate laugh when she is watching Ellen.
Back to the compassion thing. As I said earlier, if you don’t believe me, watch her show for a few days—a week, tops—and you will see someone who truly believes in helping people. She gives. She gives. Do you understand that? She gives. Not just money, but time. She gives hope to folks who might not have had it before. She gives money where there is a need, but she doesn’t just say, ‘here is a few thousand bucks, have a good life.’ No, she goes back and checks on some of the people she has helped, to see how they are progressing, to see if they are okay. She’s a huge celebrity who acts just like the average person.
How refreshing is that?
I know that at the end of an hour of Ellen, whatever bad day Cate may have been having just got better. To me, that is a person who makes an impact on others’ lives in a positive way.
And there’s one other thing that Ellen does that I think is awesome. As a matter of fact, I’ve adopted it—well, partially. At the end of each show, Ellen says, to me, the most important words anyone can say to each other: Be kind to one another. Do you understand the importance of those words? In a world where there is so much violence and hate and selfishness and me, me, me mentality, being kind to one another has kind of gone out the window. We don’t hold the doors for others. We don’t say ‘thank you’ anymore. We let others negative opinions and attitudes rub off on us. We have road rage and shopping rage and whatever we feel like rage.
In a society where most everything on the news is negative, to hear ‘be kind to one another’ is such a radical thing, it’s almost unheard of. And every time I hear it, I smile.
Back in January I made it a point to try and be as upbeat as possible; to try and be as positive as I can be. Sometimes it’s extremely difficult. Sometimes I want to just pack it up and say ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ Sometimes things happen and my nerves become frayed and my temper has a short fuse. But the power of positive thinking is real. Being kind to one another really does have a positive effect on people. Just like being rude or mean to others has a negative effect. If just hearing ‘be kind to one another’ can make people smile, imagine what actually doing it can do.
This is my challenge to you—all eight of you: Go out and do something nice for someone. Do this every day. Be nice to someone every day and see if your attitude doesn’t change over time; see if you, as a person, doesn’t have a better outlook on life.
To Ellen Degeneres, thank you. Thank you for being a positive influence and role model in a society where there are few of these. Thank you for your concern for others, and your desire to help them. Thank you for making my wife laugh. It’s the most beautiful sound.
As I’ve done in every blog since January, I leave you with my modified closing: Until we meet again, my friends, be kind to one another…