I’m sure that I am not the first to inform you of Maya Angelou’s unfortunate passing last week. When I heard the news, I literally had to fight back tears from my eyes. Maya has been an inspiration of mine for a very long time – ever since I read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” as a summer reading assignment in high school.
As a reader, I was fascinated by her ability to write painful, difficult stories through inspirational words. But, it wasn’t until I discovered my passion for writing that I took my admiration for her to another level. Maya is not only a talented writer, civil rights activist and magician with words, but the true epitome of living with an open heart. Whether she is speaking to you as a victim of domestic violence, as a female activist, as a proponent of racial equality or any human being, her words project an uplifting power that challenge every individual to live a more wholesome life. How does she convey these meanings in so few letters and always such a touching tone? It’s mind boggling!
I want to take some time to reflect upon a few of my favorite quotes from Maya, and how they have impacted me.
I am always striving for continuous improvement in my personal and professional lives. These quotes remind me to keep pushing for constant change, but to also appreciate how far I’ve come. I will never be a perfect person (and I don’t want to be), but I can always learn from my past experiences and mistakes and that, in itself, is a blessing.
These quotes remind me that no matter what state of life we are in that we can always relate to another person. I’ve had my highs, but I’ve also had my “rainy day/ did I just say that? / broken-hearted / just one more bite from this ice cream tub” kind of moments too, and I hope I never stop having them or make any one else feel like it isn’t normal.
Why, yes, thank you Maya – this is just what I needed to hear.
I’ve learned that, even though Maya has passed, I will never stop learning from her. As the true embodiment of a living legacy, Maya’s words will live on in the hearts of all of us for many, many years to come.
*What is the most memorable thing you have learned from Ms. Angelou?