Yesterday President Barack Obama gave out the Presidential Medal of Honour, the highest civilian medal, to a number of people who have made a big impact on our culture. People like Bill Gates, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jordan, Robert De Niro, and Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live to name a few.
Actors, athletes, artists, leaders and game-changers. The recipient who stood out the most for me was Ellen DeGeneres.
A big hearted comedian who entertains millions daily with her talk show. Ellen blazed a trail for so many years ago when she shared who she loved on Oprah and on her sitcom Ellen.
She was at the pinnacle of her career, but shortly after she shared her truth her show was cancelled.
Ellen said, “I had everything I’d hoped for, but I wasn’t being myself. So I decided to be honest about who I was. It was strange: The people who loved me for being funny suddenly didn’t like me for being… me.”
She was heartbroken and devastated but she marched on. Her actions changed the world and started a discussion that is still going on today.
Ellen said, “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth and everything else will come.”
How many times have we kept our own truth inside and felt like an imposter? How many times have we opened up and been shut down? How many times have we got up and kept going, hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel would be visible soon?
Ellen makes people smile and laugh on a daily basis. She earned a well-deserved medal of honour from President Obama yesterday and she shows us that being true to yourself is the only way to live. Thank you Ellen.