An extraordinary woman passed away today at the age of 86. A woman who had the hope, vision and inspiration to change our lives through her words. Maya Angelou was a writer, a poet, a singer and a dancer. You might not know the very hard times that led her to her profound view of life. She had a traumatic childhood experience which led her to be voluntarily mute as a girl. Even then, she knew the power of her words, even if choosing not to use them. At the young age of 17 she became a mom. She pimped, prostituted and became a club dancer to make ends meet. With no doubt, she saw the darkness in our world. And yet, she brought us light. When people ask you in that fantasy of who you would like to have dinner with, Maya Angelou would have been at my table.
Here are 10 of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes. Please add your favorites to the comments section. Her wisdom needs to be shared...
1. "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again."
2. "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."
3. "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
4. "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
5. "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
6. "One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."
7. “Surviving is important, thriving is elegant.”
8. “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.”
9. "When people show you who they are, believe them."
10. "I am a Woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that's me."