As writer Gary Younge said, “Probably more than almost any other writer alive, Angelou’s life literally is her work”.
America’s most visible black woman autobiographer, Maya Angelou was an author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, and poet.
She has written several autobiographies throughout her career, including All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986) and A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002), but 1969’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” continues to be regarded as her most popular autobiographical work. She has also published several collections of poetry, including Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die (1971), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
However, I find her work fascinating. She survived So Many Harsh Times that a normal person would forfeit, but she had something in her, something bigger than just an average person.
1. “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.”
I always remind myself of this words when I’m about to go in the crowd. I always try to be positive and I leave my previous or momentum situation when I’m around people. I try to carve myself in people, to remember me for something. It’s also a good reminder that I would rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everybody’s cup of tea.
2. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
As I said, being a shot of whiskey is better than being just a cup of tea. She wants to say that we should treat ourselves equally. If we are being treated as an option, we shouldn’t give credit to that person, even though we always fall in the trap under false emotions. Review the situation and you will see if you are boing an option or priority.
3. “My life has been one great big joke, a dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.”
Through so many difficulties, she managed to see that life is just a big joke! She Never Feared Death nor that time might pass. She knew how to express her oneness and she did it in her 86 years of life. The most important is that she saw life as a dance, song, and a joke.
4. “Let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
We are born around evilness. It’s everywhere around us. We will find it when we least expect it by the person we least expect it from and we will see that it’s everywhere. We just got to have faith to overcome the unpleasant. There would always be destructiveness, we just defeat it and leave an empty space for the goodness.
5. “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”
Life means struggle. It takes time to figure that out. Defeat is part of the equation. If we don’t see that defeat is part of life and the cause for better results, we won’t find success. We WILL encounter defeats, but that is just a springboard. Jump right in it and you will experience a dazzling time in the air.
6. “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
Be careful while reading this one. When people SHOW YOU who they are, believe them. It’s a lot different story if they TELL you who they are. Actions bring results, not words.
7. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
Passion brings success. One fully successful person is a person who is happy and wealthy. There is a big difference between having money and being a success. Do everything with passion, like what you do and how you do it. That’s the way to an authentic success.
8. “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but has not solved one yet.”
We just bury ourselves in hate. We bury our life, the life of the people around us, and we are the cause to a lot of problems. Remind yourself every time you hate something or someone. There is no outcome of it, just a time spent in a blur.
9. “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s) he handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
It’s not as funny as it sounds. First time when I read it I was laughing, but as I read it few more times it was pure enlightenment. The exact three things I was laughing about define the calmness of a person, his Way Of Control During Bad Times, and the way he handles “tangled” problems.
10. “Open your eyes to the beauty around you, open your mind to the wonders of life, open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.”
It’s Clean Transformation Of Your Mindset. We have to start to see beauty, to see wonders, to see true love, and most of all, never lie to ourselves. We have organs for detecting beauty, but we use them for greed and evilness. There is always beauty in around us; we just have to see it.
11. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
She doesn’t want you to scream and shout “I AM CRAZY”, but she wants to say that we must be US. Being us means that we always think of strange and odd things, we just have to express them in the reality. There is always beauty and question marks around being abnormal.
12. “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.”
If we were alone in this world, we could of just get and learn, but as we are surrounded by 7 billion people, we must give and teach our blessings. We are one big community for a reason and that reason is to sharing and giving.
I was inspired to write this article by her life-explaining words:
“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.”
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