Maya Angelou was born on April 4th 1928 and passed away on 28th May 2014. She is a published author, poet and civil rights campaigner. Here are some of her words: diamonds she left behind for posterity:
- ‘You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.’
- ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.’
- ‘We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.’
- ‘If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.’
- ‘There is no greater agony that bearing an untold story inside you.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Try to be rainbow in someone’s cloud.’
- ‘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 love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.’
- ‘Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.’
- ‘The love of the family, the love of the person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.’
- ‘Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.’
- ‘Nothing will work unless you do.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.’ (selection by the Guardian)
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
by William Henley