The great, late Maya Angelou was pretty damn perceptive (understatement). I quoted her in this piece about personal heartbreak, but there are a lot of incredible phrases from her floating about in light of her death at the end of May, and I wanted to honour them, too.
I’ve been reading her I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, and although it’s a bloody shame that she had to die before I really discovered her wisdom, I guess it’s better late than never.
Meanwhile, here are some of my favourite, most meaningful quotes from her, taken from this piece on the Guardian.
- You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
- It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
- 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.
- We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
- Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
- 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 (I think this is true, but I also include “missed flights/trains” into the lost luggage bit, and “tangled headphones” into the last one).
And the last, most galvanising of all:
- Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.