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Love. Dance. Be kind.

February 17, 2018

Love. Dance. Be kind. That sums up, for me, Ellen DeGeneres. Years ago, I loved her sitcom. Maybe it was my age then, late 20s, that made me not pick up on the big deal her coming out was. I was young, sheltered and naïve. I also was young with a ‘live and let live’ philosophy. I realized later how much that cost her in her career, yet still it didn’t have a direct impact on my personally.

We are close to the same age. I’m two years younger, so we grew up in the same era. But in vastly different places – she in Louisiana, I in North Dakota – and with distinct experiences.

Fifteen years or so ago, she launched her talk show. I freelanced then so in my home office, I could turn on my TV at 4 p.m. and close out my work day with Ellen entertainment in the background.

She is funny! I mean ROFLMAO-funny! In the silliest of ways. That is what I loved most right away. I’m not naturally funny, which is in part why it attracts me when I see it in others. I have one friend who I think is as funny as Ellen. Interestingly, their birthdays are one day apart (he is five years older than her).

Early in her show, she wrapped up her opening monologues in a dance with the audience. She pulls off dorky dancing to make it look cool. But unlike the popular kids back in high school (or still today), she never made me feel intimidated or untalented. To see her dance is to feel joy. To think, “Carpe Diem” – Seize the Day.

Soon, I also began to see her kindness and generosity, to both people and animals. Oh, how she loves animals. She reminds me of my daughter in that. Their love of creatures represents the depth, and the fragility, of their hearts.

They love so deeply and hurt as deeply when they see injustices. Their hearts crack whenever they feel hurt or when they see others (human or animal) hurt.

Ellen recognizes the position she eventually attained in her career that enables her to be generous to others. Her acts are heartwarming and as I watched her show, I saw on her face how genuine she is in her compassion.

Her sense of humor, I suppose, also makes her a prankster. Since I was a dork when I grew up, I’m not so keen on the pranks … but she does make them funny to watch. And I know, none of us should take ourselves too seriously.

She loves her momma. As I understand it, her momma stood by her through all her ups and downs. Loved – and liked – her for who she is, even if it’s different than momma. I try to be that momma for my daughter, and it is not the momma I have.

Love. Kindness. Laugh at yourself. Dance. Enjoy the cute babies and the funny animals. Give what you can to help others – a smile may be enough.

I think she cannot make me funny but I sure wanted to go be part of her writing team. Still do. Funny and creative beget funny and creative. I must surround myself with those kinds of influences to help myself achieve all I can and should achieve.

Thank you, Ellen. You are one of the role models America needs. I believe you try to see people from the inside out – to who they really are – which is what I also try to do.

© Linda McDonald 2018

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