Mar 6, 2014

You can't keep a good heart down.


She's been a waitress, a sales girl, a bartender and a house painter. Over time, this woman became a standup comedian and then got a part in a tv show. She played the lead role in a comedy sitcom that was earning rave reviews after four solid seasons when she came out as being gay. Though there was support for her from the industry, a year later her show was cancelled. With no great offers coming her way, she went back to doing what she did best... making people laugh as a stand up comedian. That's where the story would have ended.

But you see, here's something I learned over the years. You can't keep a good person down. They will have their falls but they will get up... and they will get up stronger. And if they still retain that smile on their face after everything they've faced, well, that's the power of being good kicking cynicism in the ass.

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Three years after the comedy show was cancelled, she returned on a new network with her own talk show. She hosted actors, singers and tv celebrities. But it was the episodes with everyday people where she listened to their troubled stories and helped them out instantly that won the world over once more. Within three seasons, her show had won a staggering 25 Emmy Awards.


Ellen Degeneres had arrived on the world stage once more. From being silently pushed off the Tv network, she's now gone on to host the Academy Awards successfully twice now (and crashed Twitter officially once with the 'Academy Selfie.').

The thing about Ellen's shows isn't just that she's funny... it's that she cares. And she's not afraid to do something about it. Like her fellow Aquarian and TV show host Oprah Winfrey, Ellen too does not shy away from going the extra mile to make people happy. Over the years, she has rebuilt houses for victims of hurricanes, paid college tuition fees for children whose mom was dying of cancer and bought cars for families in need.

She's a winner to me because she makes the effort to make people happy. Not to look good or get expensive clothes. She wears her trademark untucked shirt and pants for most occasions... well, not counting that time when she followed ex Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush to a university commencement podium dressed in a bathrobe and furry slippers! (Her excuse: 'They told me everybody would be wearing robes so I wore one too!')

She doesn't give money to just anybody. She finds people who most need it and then finds a way to help them out directly. The end goal is to make them believe in humanity once more.


Unlike our own national shows which focus on the ills within our country and then demand we introspect while doing nothing for the victims directly, Ellen does what she does best - she makes people laugh. She seeks out those who need aid from the letters sent to her and goes and ACTUALLY changes their lives, rather than showcasing it to the public and demanding the government do something for the victims.

She could have tried to remain a tv comedian in some sitcom. But she decided to be more. And she worked on that dream year after year till she finally attained it.
Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia De Rossi at the 2014
Oscars Governors Ball held after the Academy Awards
That's why she inspires me.
Because she knows what it's like to fall and get back on her feet again and she makes the extra effort to help others get another chance in life. All with that same gorgeous smile and witty banter still intact.


Author's note: This was written for Write Tribe's Festival of Words 3 for the prompt - Share a story that will inspire

In the past too, I've written about two other women ( one an Indian actress and the other an unwed teen mom ) both of whose stories I found profoundly inspiring. I could probably envision Malala Yousafzai too if you asked me. But I can't think of many men presently... that is worrying.

What worries me more?
What does it say about the state of the media we are exposed to when murderers and dullards, megalomaniacs and imbeciles, frauds and fake Gods are considered worthy to lead our country but a woman - a vegetarian who is in a decade long committed relationship IN HOLLYWOOD - who just wanted to make people laugh and be happy was shunned because of the victimless crime of love ?

For now, I leave you with just one of the many ELLEN videos you will find online. Whenever you're feeling sad, just go to Youtube and type 'Ellen inspiring'. Watch that smile reappear on your face  again.