Maya Angelou’s recent death is not necessarily news now, but one thing she said in a 2009 CNN interview, has stuck with me. I think it is the most news worthy thing I have read in the last two weeks, so I have dedicated this News Day Tuesday to her.
“Our country needs us all right now to stand up and be counted. We need to try to be great citizens. We are necessary in this country, and we need to give something — that is to say, go to a local hospital, go to the children’s ward and offer to the nurse in charge an hour twice a month that you can give them reading children’s stories or poetry,” she said. “And go to an old folks’ home and read the newspaper to somebody. Go to your church or your synagogue or your mosque, and say, ‘I’d like to be of service. I have one hour twice a month.’
“You’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel,” she said. “And good done anywhere is good done everywhere.“
Two more short, but powerful quotes I love by Maya Angelou:
“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”
This is the last line in a tribute that Maya wrote for Nelson Mandela, His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute. I believe that it also rings true about her.
“We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.”
June 3, 2014 at 9:14 am
Very lovely 🙂
June 3, 2014 at 11:22 am
June 3, 2014 at 9:33 am
It’s a beautiful thought, It’s not just a country though, that needs to accept and practice this, but the world too. 🙂
June 3, 2014 at 11:24 am
Agreed! Thanks for stopping by and joining in.
June 3, 2014 at 11:26 am
My pleasure Patti 🙂
June 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm
For me… I would say that Maya Angelou was the living, practiced definition of humane…
-“We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.”
– “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
– “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
-“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
-“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.”
-“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
-“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”
-“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
-“The honorary duty of a human being is to love.”
-“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.”
-“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.”
-“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
And, I marvel at her ability to speak volumes… in a mere sentence!
What a wonderful beautiful person! I shall not mourn her passing as much as celebrate her fabulous gifts… she took a life wrought with grief and strife… she didn’t merely survive it… she grew an immense heart, and an amazing mind… well-Earthed and an ethereal being…
Can you tell, that I have awaited this news to arrive here…
June 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm
Thanks for adding to this, M. Yes, I can tell 🙂
June 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm
All lovely comments on a lovely post:)
June 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm
What a woman – Maya Angelou, and you for paying her tribute. She’s been quoted so much, but one that I see above stands out: “We need to give something.”
Right now I’m reading a book by Dr. Stephen Post (The Hidden Gifts of Helping) who says that giving protects your emotional health even more than an aspirin a day protects heart health. I don’t think we need clinical studies to know that is true, but still it’s nice to have science back up common sense.
June 4, 2014 at 12:02 am
Yes, of all her quotes, I really like her message about giving to other. It has always been the best medicine for me. That book sounds like I would like it…will go check it out and add it to my long to read list 🙂
Thanks for being here, Marian.
June 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm
I’m going to have a different response. Mine is hahahahaha. Good luck with that one hour twice a month business. Once you commit to an organization they want more and more of you, ESPECIALLY a church or synagogue. Just sayin. And nothing that is organized gets accomplished in two hours. I can accomplish a lot in two hours as an individual helping other individuals, but not in an organized setting. Key word here is obviously organized. Thanks for getting me going, Patti ;).
June 4, 2014 at 12:08 am
You always make me think and smile, Luanne. I must agree. Any pool of volunteers always has one or two who can be relied on and they are the ones that burn out first. It has always been hard for me to just stick my toe in the water (1-2 hours), I am the one jumping in head first!
Right now, I am doing for family in small doses. From seniors, to toddlers, there is plenty help I can offer, so that is where my service to others is going these days.
Take care and thanks for chiming in 🙂
June 4, 2014 at 9:51 am
Lovely, Patti. I fell in love with her as a human being when I listened to her joke about aging and her aging body. Wisdom mixed with humor and so much joy. I’m also told she was deaf at the end and loudly announced, “If you want to talk to me, you’ll have to stand right in front of me and talk loud.” I need to try that, but then I’m not Maya Angelou. Thanks for this. You’re giving something.
June 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm
Oh, Elaine, I hope you move into being able to announce your need like that, or in a more Elaine’ish way!
My neighbor has very similar hearing issues and many times I am the one who has to tell people to speak loudly at him. He has basically given up on anything public where there is any background noise, especially.
It is truly an invisible problem. A universal “something” to wear telling others to speak at you? I have thought about it…a small ear tattoo? an ear bracelet or necklace?
You’re giving something too. You have given me and my cousin and many others, your friendship and you share your wise woman ways on your blog and other social media and (I’m sure) in your upcoming book. Wow, love that run-on sentence!
I hope your day is good. Hugs to you and Willow 🙂
June 4, 2014 at 10:05 am
A beautiful tribute Patti. Her words will live on. 🙂
June 4, 2014 at 12:14 pm
Thank you, Debby! Not many leave such a legacy, but it is something to work towards 🙂