Savor a daily dose of Maya Angelou

With the death of Maya Angelou on May 28, we’ve lost the voice of the celebrated African American author, poet and civil activist. But we shall not lose her words.

One way to continue to draw wisdom and enrichment from such an inspiring person is to have a month-long collection of her words. Then when you need a Maya moment, just go to the day’s date and take moment to breathe, savor and reflect. From her prolific work and interviews, we’ve selected a 31-day set with some of our favorites.

1 – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

2 – “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

3 – “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

4 – “My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and intelligent that college professors.”

5 – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

6 – “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot—it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

7 – “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

8 – “Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.”

9 – “We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.”

10 – “I learned a long time ago that the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side; be an advocate for myself and others like me.”

11 – “We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay—and rise!”

12 – “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

13 – “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”

14 – “I believe that every person is born with talent.”

15 – “I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t accept any manmade differences between human beings, differences made at somebody else’s insistence or someone else’s whim or convenience.”

16 – “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”

17 – “The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.”

18 – “I’m considered wise, and sometimes I see myself as knowing. Most of the time, I see myself as wanting to know. And I see myself as a very interested person. I’ve never been bored in my life.”

19 – “It’s important that you laugh as much as possible and admit that you’re the funniest person you’ve ever met.”

20 – “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”

21 – “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.”

22 – “Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I’m with you kid. Let’s go.”

23 – “And if a person is religious, I think it’s good, it helps you a bit. But if you’re not, at least you can have the sense that there is a condition inside you which looks at the stars with amazement and awe.”

24 – “I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

25 – “There is no greater agony that bearing an untold story inside you.”

26 – “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

27 – “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

28 – “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”

29 – “I realized that one isn’t born with courage. One develops it by doing small courageous things—in the way that if one sets out to pick up a 100-pound bag of rice, one would be advised to start with a five-pound bag, then 10 pounds, then 20 pounds, and so forth, until one builds up enough muscle to lift the 100-pound bag. It’s the same way with courage. You do small courageous things that require some mental and spiritual exertion.”

30 – “Human beings should understand how other humans feel no matter where they are, no matter what their language or culture is, no matter their age, and no matter the age in which they live. If you develop the art of seeing us as more alike than we are unalike, then all stories are understandable.”

31 – “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

1 Comment

  1. Pam Montgomery
    June 12, 2014

    Rich — what a wonderful, thoughtful gift to all your readers. Thank you SO much!

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