'Oprah’s Lifeclass' Advice May Not Be A Great Source of Insight After All

Following a short break, the fifth season of Oprah’s Lifeclass will pick up again this Sunday. Bishop T.D. Jakes will be teaching a class focused on life transformation. The self-help program, which airs on OWN, aims to help individuals better their lives and serves as a platform of discussion for serious topics that could use a little more dialogue. However, I’m not entirely convinced that we should be living by the lessons coming out of Lifeclass. Watch the show and engage in the conversation? Yes. Make life decisions based on the show and let it be your guiding light? There are at least three reasons why that may not be a good idea.

Sometimes an apple is just an apple.

Analyzing can be addictive. Soon apples aren’t just apples anymore, and you’re looking for the deeper meaning in the seeds. Not everything is gray, and not every moment is worthy of further exposition. It’s a lesson in of itself. Out of a desire to create a meaning or add depth to our every move, we can attribute it to bigger, broader issues. Issues that prior to our being in want of a reason, never even crossed our minds. No, they weren’t hiding out in our subconscious. They weren’t there.

Celebrities are just as screwed up as us (if not more).

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Often throughout the series, Oprah has called on celebrity guests to help drop nuggets of knowledge to the audience. The experts include T.D. Jakes, scholar Brené Brown, self-help guru Tony Robbins and Dr. Phil. But I can’t be the only one who breaks out in a rash every time Iyanla Vanzant speaks. The made-up words, the shouting, the “brilliant” revelations, they all seem so contrived. That’s not to say that none of what is said is truth and should be totally ignored. I’m merely suggesting that you remember somewhere in the back of your head that all these people are one taped conversation away from becoming Donald Sterling.

The special online episodes of Oprah’s Lifeclass aren’t much better. Bret Michaels guest-hosted an online class aimed at helping audience members find their passion. I can think of at least five reasons to not trust Bret Michaels or his passion and they all appeared on VH1’s Rock of Love.

Not Every Moment is or will be Brilliant.

Moments have never been in higher demand than now. We’re told to cherish them and create more with reckless abandon because time is fleeting and moments last forever. In the more up-building discussions on the show, we’re advised to use them as a vehicle for self-fulfillment and to stand in them. But isn’t their sudden nature why we love them so much? Looking at every nice gesture, sweet incident or good time as a moment lessens their importance. Also, the need to find them in everything we do and use them as a vehicle for self-fulfillment is tedious and will create issues for the sanest of individuals. They are rare. They are absolutely to be treasured. But remember when you just let them happen to you? They worked just fine then.

Oprah’s LifeClass airs this Sunday at 8 PM on OWN with guest co-host Bishop T.D. Jakes. Next week will feature first-time co-host Dr. Shefali Tsabary. She’ll tackle the topic “Children and Discipline”.