Words of wisdom

 


WRITING ON THE WALL by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
Dwight Carter photo

Life lessons: 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. Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise. 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.

Love life: Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it. 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.

Forgiving yourself: I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes – it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, “Well, if I’d known better, I’d have done better.” That’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, “I’m sorry” and then you say to yourself, “I’m sorry.” If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being.

Don’t complain: If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain. If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home then go out in the street and start grinning “Good morning” at total strangers. mayaangelou.com