The world lost an incredible poet and serving leader, Maya Angelou has left the world this week. Shy and quiet people often share with me they are not sure how they can make a difference in our world. I share with them the story of Maya Angelou. Her life and courage calls and inspires us to touch more people with our words, unique gifts, and life experiences.
Her words move your soul. For people who do not read her poetry, I would share the power of her life and message. For friends who knew her, we will miss this force of nature. She was peaceful and powerful through her life and poetry.
Maya reminded us of a time when who you were mattered more than how many people knew you. Maya Angelou’s writing will inspire future generations to reach for the stars, but never forget where they come from. She created a bridge for all of us to cross into her world and reexamine ours. She opened many doors for all to go through. She will be missed.
I thought I’d share her words and feelings to inspire you to find your own greatness inside; a brief reminder that you can achieve anything you dream of. Maya Angelou wrote to inspire and share. I share her words in hopes they move you as they have moved countless serving leaders.
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.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’
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.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
To work is to pray.
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool – and I’m not any of those – to say that I don’t write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
Thank you, Maya Angelou for sharing your gifts, life experiences, and your spirit to inspire each of us to share our own stories in poetry that is life.