Maya Angelou was an American author and poet, who passed away on May 28, 2014. She died at the age of 86 in North Carolina. Just last year, she was honored at the National Book Awards ceremony for her service to the literary community.
A highly inspirational figure in the African-American community, she became a spokesperson for their rights and her work is considered a defence of black culture. In her decades of work, she has published 7 autobiographies, 3 books of essays, as well as several books on poetry. To add to that she has also been credited with a number of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over five decades. Angelou is best known for her autobiographies, which focus on aspects of her childhood that lead in to her early adult life
Her most popular work 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', shot Angelou into the public limelight and in it she discussed aspects of her personal life. She has also won a number of awards for her work.
Here are some of the most inspirational quotes by the accomplished author and poet.
- "Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."
- “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
- "If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love"
- “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
- “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”
- "It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody"
- “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
- “Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances. ”
- "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them"
- "Nothing will work unless you do"
- "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
- "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"
- "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!"
- "I have found that amoung its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver"
- "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."
- "No sun outlasts its sunset but will rise again and bring the dawn"
- “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”
- "Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud"
- “I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. 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. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. 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.”
- “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”
- “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.”
- “I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is - Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
- “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size. But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.”
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
Even in her last tweet, she sent outside some advice that we could all benefit from.