Maya Angelou was a famous poet, actress, award-winning writer, and civil rights activist that left this world as one of the most influential women to this day. Though she is now gone, her art and wisdom will remain alive forever, making an impact on women all across the globe for many days to come. Here are just a few of the many life-changing lessons Maya Angelou graced us with through words:
Dr. Angelou once said, “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.” Through these words, Ms. Angelou has shown us the importance we have on other people’s lives and the impact we can make by lifting each other up. She also said that, “Each of us, famous or infamous, is a role model for somebody, and if we aren’t, we should behave as though we are – cheerful, kind, loving, courteous. Because you can be sure someone is watching and taking deliberate and diligent notes,” – noting that each and every one of us has the power to change lives for the better.
Maya Angelou’s positive, motivational presence has helped many of us get through difficult times in our lives. Her attitude throughout her life was always strong and positive, stating, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” She has also written, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty,” – meaning that the hardships we’ve gone through have only helped us become more beauty. The struggle on the road is what makes us strong, not reaching that final destination.
Diversity was another topic that Maya Angelou often wrote and spoke about politically. She once said, “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” As a civil rights activist, Maya Angelou often wrote about her own struggles as a black woman who lived in a racist environment, but she never stopped fighting for her rights and her ability to use language and poetry as a means of taking a stance and bringing others up with her.
Maya Angelou was fearless and taught us that fear is a waste of time. She said, “We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.” She has also taught us that life is not about mere survival, but about thriving by saying, “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.”
It is clear that we can all learn something from Maya Angelou – now and forever, as long as we continue her legacy of promoting equality and her art showcased through the written word. As women, we must encourage and support each other, it is too often that we do so otherwise. So let’s listen to Maya Angelou and read her works so we do not forget the beauty and power in each and every one of us.