Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist who became one of the most prominent and influential voices of her generation. Angelou’s literary contributions extend beyond memoirs to include poetry, essays, and plays. She became the first African American woman to have her screenplay produced and nominated for an Academy Award. Her distinctive writing style often blends vivid imagery, profound insights, and a rhythmic quality influenced by her love for music.
In addition to her literary achievements, Maya Angelou was a notable figure in the civil rights movement, working alongside icons like Martin Luther King Jr. She held various academic roles and received numerous awards for her contributions to literature and advocacy for social justice. Maya Angelou’s enduring legacy lies in her ability to articulate the complexities of the human experience with eloquence and authenticity, leaving an indelible mark on literature and inspiring generations to come. So in this post today, we’re going to explore some of the most famous Maya Angelou Quotes and the meanings behind them.
1. All great achievements require time. – Maya Angelou
This quote emphasizes the importance of patience and persistence in the pursuit of success. It suggests that significant accomplishments are not instantaneous; they require time, effort, and dedication. It serves as a reminder to stay committed to your goals and to understand that the journey towards greatness is often a gradual process.
2. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou highlights the enduring impact of emotions in human interactions. This quote emphasizes the significance of kindness, empathy, and the way we treat others. It suggests that the emotional imprint we leave on people has a lasting effect, far beyond the words we speak or the actions we take.
3. Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou highlights the enduring impact of emotions in human interactions. This quote emphasizes the significance of kindness, empathy, and the way we treat others. It suggests that the emotional imprint we leave on people has a lasting effect, far beyond the words we speak or the actions we take.
4. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou defines success in a holistic and self-affirming manner. Success is not merely measured by external achievements, but by one’s internal satisfaction. It involves a positive self-perception, enjoyment of one’s work, and a sense of pride in the way tasks are carried out. This quote encourages individuals to find fulfillment and joy in their own definition of success.
5. If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. – Maya Angelou
This quote encourages embracing individuality and uniqueness. It suggests that conforming to societal norms or trying to fit into a predefined idea of normalcy can limit personal growth and potential. To truly discover one’s greatness, it is important to embrace and celebrate one’s distinctive qualities and explore the extraordinary possibilities within oneself.
6. Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it. – Maya Angelou
This quote draws an analogy between talent and electricity, emphasizing that, much like electricity, we may not fully comprehend the essence of talent. Instead, we should focus on utilizing and expressing our talents to the best of our abilities, appreciating and harnessing their power without necessarily needing to understand the intricacies.
7. When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time. – Maya Angelou
This quote underscores the importance of trusting one’s instincts and observations in understanding the true nature of individuals. Maya Angelou advises that when someone’s actions reveal their character, it is crucial to believe and accept that revelation without dismissing it or hoping for a different reality. This wisdom encourages discernment in relationships and interactions.
8. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. – Maya Angelou
This quote conveys the idea of spreading positivity and being a source of comfort or joy in someone’s life, particularly during challenging times (“someone’s cloud”). Being a “rainbow” symbolizes bringing color and brightness to another person’s experience, acting as a beacon of hope and support. It encourages acts of kindness and compassion.
9. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou celebrates the boundless nature of creativity. Unlike finite resources, creativity is limitless and doesn’t diminish with use; in fact, it tends to grow. The more you express and engage in creative endeavors, the richer and more expansive your creative abilities become. This quote encourages individuals to freely explore and express their creative potential.
10. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou
This quote advocates for proactive and positive responses to life’s challenges. If there’s something in your life that you dislike, Maya Angelou suggests taking action to change it. However, if circumstances are beyond your control, she encourages a shift in attitude — finding a way to approach the situation with positivity and resilience, which can lead to a more constructive and fulfilling experience.
11. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou
This quote speaks to the emotional and creative burden of keeping one’s experiences and stories locked within. Maya Angelou suggests that the pain of holding back one’s untold story is a profound agony. It encourages individuals to find ways to express and share their narratives, highlighting the importance of storytelling for personal healing and connection with others.
12. When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better. – Maya Angelou
This quote emphasizes the transformative power of action and engagement. It suggests that passive inaction can lead to feelings of overwhelm and powerlessness, while actively participating in making positive changes generates a sense of hope and accomplishment. Maya Angelou encourages individuals to take an active role in creating a better world.
13. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou expresses a vibrant and holistic approach to life. Instead of merely surviving, she advocates for thriving and doing so with qualities that bring richness to existence: passion, compassion, humor, and style. This quote inspires a life filled with purpose, joy, and a sense of personal flair.
14. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou stresses the importance of pursuing one’s passions rather than being solely driven by financial goals. She encourages individuals to focus on what they love, become accomplished in those pursuits, and let excellence in those endeavors naturally attract attention and success.
15. The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise. – Maya Angelou
This quote contrasts ambitious aspirations with wise and empathetic goals. While reaching for the stars symbolizes high-reaching ambitions, Maya Angelou suggests that the deeper and wiser pursuit is to touch the hearts of others. It highlights the value of making a positive impact on people’s lives and fostering meaningful connections.
16. At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
This profound statement by Maya Angelou underscores the enduring impact of emotional connections. In the grand scheme of things, the words spoken or actions taken might fade from memory, but the emotions evoked and the way one makes others feel are etched into lasting impressions. It reminds us of the profound influence of kindness, empathy, and genuine human connection.
17. You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s wisdom here emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and reflection. To navigate the future successfully, it’s crucial to understand and appreciate one’s past. Knowing where you’ve been provides valuable insights, allowing for informed decisions and a clearer path forward. It speaks to the idea that personal growth is deeply rooted in understanding one’s own history.
18. As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else. – Maya Angelou
This quote beautifully captures the ripple effect of healing. Maya Angelou encourages the idea that once you’ve experienced personal healing and growth, extend that positive energy to others. It promotes a sense of community and interconnectedness, suggesting that our individual healing journeys contribute to the well-being of the collective.
19. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s insight here speaks to the resilience of the human spirit. Despite facing challenges and experiencing pain, the quote suggests the choice not to let those difficulties define one’s character. It reflects a powerful message of maintaining grace and strength even in the face of personal struggles, demonstrating the capacity for inner peace and positivity.
20. If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou inspires a sense of purpose and impact with this quote. It encourages individuals to consider the lasting imprint they want to leave on the world. Living with intention and contributing positively to the lives of others are emphasized, urging people to create a legacy that endures beyond their own existence—a legacy built on meaningful connections, accomplishments, and positive change.
21. You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. – Maya Angelou
In this empowering statement, Maya Angelou acknowledges that life is unpredictable, and we cannot control every event. However, the power lies in our response. By choosing not to be reduced by challenges or setbacks, we assert our resilience and capacity to rise above adversity. It’s a reminder to focus on our inner strength and determination in the face of life’s uncertainties.
22. I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou expresses a proactive stance towards personal growth. While acknowledging that experiences can alter us, she emphasizes the refusal to be diminished by them. This quote encourages a mindset of learning and adaptation, suggesting that even in the face of adversity, we have the agency to shape our own narrative and maintain our sense of self.
23. As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may not remember your name, but they will never forget the way you made them feel. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou beautifully captures the profound impact of nursing in this quote. It recognizes the holistic nature of healing – encompassing the heart, mind, soul, and body. The emphasis on the enduring emotional impact underscores the significance of compassionate care. Even if a nurse’s name is forgotten, the positive emotions and care provided will be etched in the memories of those they’ve helped.
24. First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least good is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou reflects on the varying experiences of love in this quote. It suggests that while falling in love is considered the most exhilarating, any form of love is valuable. Even the pain of falling out of love is acknowledged as a part of the rich tapestry of human experience. The quote encourages an appreciation for the depth and complexity of love in all its forms.
25. I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that’s me. – Maya Angelou
This declaration exudes confidence and self-affirmation. Maya Angelou celebrates the phenomenal nature of being a woman, expressing pride and empowerment. The repetition of “Phenomenal Woman” emphasizes a strong and positive self-identity. It serves as a declaration of individual worth, encouraging women to recognize and embrace their unique qualities with pride.
26. You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody. – Maya Angelou
This quote carries a powerful message of self-acceptance and confidence. Maya Angelou encourages the idea that each individual possesses intrinsic worth and completeness. There is no need to seek validation or approval from others. Embracing one’s authentic self and recognizing one’s inherent value is the key to a fulfilling and contented life.
27. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou beautifully captures the essence of success in this quote by highlighting the importance of compassion and empathy. Success, in her view, is not measured by personal achievements alone but by the capacity to genuinely care for others. It emphasizes the profound impact of kindness and the interconnectedness of human experiences.
28. You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise! – Maya Angelou
This quote expresses resilience and defiance in the face of adversity. Maya Angelou uses vivid imagery to depict the potential harm that words and hatred can cause. However, the powerful assertion of rising “like air” reflects an unwavering spirit that cannot be suppressed. It’s a declaration of strength and the ability to overcome negativity.
29. You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou reflects on the concept of freedom and belonging. The paradoxical idea presented suggests that true freedom comes from a realization that one belongs everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. While the price of this realization may be high, the reward is profound, implying a sense of liberation and self-discovery beyond conventional boundaries.
30. Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world but has not solved one yet. – Maya Angelou
In this quote, Maya Angelou addresses the destructive nature of hatred. She succinctly points out that, despite its prevalence, hatred has not proven to be a solution to any of the world’s problems. It serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of empathy, understanding, and positive actions in fostering meaningful change and resolution.
31. I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better. – Maya Angelou
In this reflection on personal growth, Maya Angelou acknowledges the evolution of knowledge and the corresponding improvement in actions. The quote encapsulates a commitment to continuous learning and development. It suggests that one’s actions are shaped by the understanding available at the time, and as awareness deepens, so does the capacity to make more informed and positive choices.
32. Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou beautifully describes the solace found in music. The metaphorical “space between the notes” symbolizes a place of emotional refuge where one can escape from loneliness. The quote speaks to the transformative power of music, which has the ability to provide comfort and a sense of connection, allowing individuals to find solace in the midst of solitude.
33. No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. – Maya Angelou
This quote reflects a message of hope and resilience. Maya Angelou reminds us that, regardless of the challenges faced today, life continues to unfold. The optimism lies in the belief that tomorrow holds the potential for improvement and better circumstances. It serves as a comforting reminder to persevere through difficult times with the anticipation of a brighter future.
34. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou draws a poignant parallel between the beauty of a butterfly and the transformative process it undergoes. The quote encourages an acknowledgment of the struggles and changes that contribute to growth and beauty. It reminds us that behind every stunning outcome, there is often a journey of challenges and transformations that deserve recognition and appreciation.
35. Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between. – Maya Angelou
This quote encapsulates a pragmatic and resilient approach to life. Maya Angelou advises a balance of optimism and preparedness. While hoping for the best outcomes, the recognition of the possibility of challenges (“prepared for the worst”) ensures a realistic perspective. The final phrase, “unsurprised by anything in between,” reflects an acceptance of life’s unpredictable nature, urging adaptability and equanimity in the face of uncertainty.
36. History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. – Maya Angelou
In this reflection on the weight of history, Maya Angelou acknowledges the painful aspects that cannot be erased. However, she imparts a powerful message about the role of courage in confronting and learning from history. While the past cannot be changed, facing it with courage provides an opportunity for growth and the avoidance of repeating painful patterns.
37. Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou contrasts hope and fear, highlighting their incompatible nature. The quote suggests that by consciously choosing hope over fear, we create a space for positivity and optimism. It encourages individuals to actively welcome hope into their lives, recognizing its power to transform perspectives and guide actions.
38. Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fence, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou beautifully describes the boundless nature of love. The metaphorical imagery of love jumping hurdles and penetrating walls illustrates its ability to overcome obstacles. The quote emphasizes that genuine love transcends barriers, be they physical or emotional, and arrives at its destination filled with hope for connection and understanding.
39. The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou captures the universal longing for a sense of home—a place of comfort and acceptance. The quote suggests that “home” is not just a physical location but a refuge where individuals can be themselves without judgment. It touches on the innate human desire for a space where authenticity is valued and embraced.
40. Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou emphasizes the foundational role of courage in virtuous living. This quote suggests that without the courage to act in alignment with one’s values, other virtues may falter. Courage becomes the cornerstone that enables individuals to consistently embody other virtues, fostering integrity and moral strength. It underscores the essential nature of courage in ethical and virtuous living.
41. Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait. – Maya Angelou
In this advice on approaching life, Maya Angelou suggests that the energy and dedication one invests in their actions will be reflected in the outcomes. Putting one’s whole heart into everything, combined with prayer, implies a commitment to genuine effort and a hopeful attitude. The notion of waiting implies patience, trusting that the efforts will bear fruit in due time.
42. A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou beautifully expresses the idea that a woman’s true essence and worth should be deeply rooted in her spiritual connection. The metaphor of a woman’s heart being hidden in God suggests that her value is not easily discerned and that a man should seek a connection with the divine to truly understand and appreciate her.
43. 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. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou advocates for a passionate and engaged approach to life. The quote encourages individuals to fully invest in life, giving it their utmost effort and enthusiasm. The idea that life gives back what is put into it reflects the belief in the reciprocity of experiences, suggesting that a wholehearted engagement with life leads to rich and fulfilling returns.
44. Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances. – Maya Angelou
This poetic statement by Maya Angelou captures the interconnectedness and vibrancy of the universe. The notion that everything has a rhythm and dances implies a harmonious and dynamic flow in the cosmos. It encourages an appreciation for the beauty and synchronicity inherent in the world, emphasizing the idea that life itself is a grand dance.
45. If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me? – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou underscores the importance of self-care and self-love in this quote. It suggests that the way one treats oneself sets the standard for how others will treat them. By prioritizing personal well-being and kindness toward oneself, individuals pave the way for positive and respectful interactions with others. It’s a reminder of the fundamental role of self-love in building healthy relationships.
46. It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou advocates for an essential lesson in parenting – the early education of young minds about the beauty and strength found in diversity. By instilling this understanding from a young age, parents contribute to fostering inclusive perspectives, teaching children to appreciate differences, and emphasizing the collective strength that arises from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
47. In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine. – Maya Angelou
This quote is a beautifully expressive declaration of a unique and profound connection. Maya Angelou poetically emphasizes the exclusivity and irreplaceability of the bond between two individuals. It conveys a sense of deep love and connection that transcends all others, portraying a sentiment of unparalleled affection.
48. You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may tread me in the very dirt, but still like dust, I’ll rise. – Maya Angelou
In the face of adversity, this quote by Maya Angelou embodies resilience and strength. It speaks to the power to rise above false narratives and mistreatment. The imagery of rising like dust implies an indomitable spirit that can endure despite attempts to demean or diminish. It’s a powerful statement of self-confidence and perseverance.
49. If you have only one smile in, you give it to the people you love. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s quote underscores the preciousness of a genuine smile and the intentionality behind sharing it. By directing this limited and valuable expression of joy towards those we love, it reinforces the idea that our closest relationships deserve the best of our positive emotions and that a smile can be a profound and meaningful gift.
50. I want to thank you, Lord, for life and all that’s in it. Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute. – Maya Angelou
In this expression of gratitude, Maya Angelou reflects on the profound appreciation for life and its every moment. The quote is a humble acknowledgment of the blessings found in the simplest elements of existence, conveying a genuine sense of thankfulness for the gift of time and the experiences it brings.
51. When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou imparts a valuable lesson on the reciprocal nature of giving and receiving. The quote suggests that approaching acts of generosity with cheerfulness and accepting kindness with gratitude creates a positive cycle where everyone involved experiences blessings. It underscores the interconnectedness of human interactions and the potential for mutual enrichment through heartfelt exchanges.
52. I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people. – Maya Angelou
In this inclusive definition of heroism, Maya Angelou broadens the concept beyond traditional notions. She identifies heroes as individuals passionately dedicated to improving the world for everyone. It emphasizes the virtue of selflessness and the transformative impact that collective efforts for the greater good can have on society.
53. The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind. – Maya Angelou
This quote vividly captures the compelling force of the desire for change. Maya Angelou uses the metaphor of a bulldozer to illustrate the powerful impact that the need for transformation can have on one’s mindset. It suggests that the urgency for change can be a forceful driver in reshaping perspectives and paving the way for personal growth.
54. 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. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou imparts a lesson on reciprocity and active engagement with life. The metaphor of a catcher’s mitt symbolizes a passive stance, suggesting that one should not only receive but also contribute actively. The quote encourages a mindset of giving, participating, and contributing to the world, emphasizing the importance of a balanced and dynamic approach to life.
55. Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women. – Maya Angelou
This quote celebrates the collective impact of individual empowerment. Maya Angelou recognizes the significance of women asserting themselves, even in seemingly small or personal acts. The idea is that each instance of a woman standing up for herself contributes to the broader movement for women’s rights and equality, creating a ripple effect that benefits all women.
56. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou shares a valuable insight into decision-making, emphasizing the importance of approaching choices with an open heart. The quote suggests that decisions made with genuine sincerity and emotional openness tend to align with one’s true values and instincts, leading to outcomes that feel right and authentic.
57. If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. – Maya Angelou
This quote explores the transformative power of imagination. Maya Angelou suggests that even a single, vivid fantasy, if realized or embraced, has the potential to positively impact numerous real-life situations. It speaks to the creative force within individuals and the profound influence that imagination can have on shaping reality.
58. While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation. – Maya Angelou
In this reflective statement, Maya Angelou acknowledges her divine connection and extends that recognition to all of creation. The quote emphasizes a sense of interconnectedness and shared spirituality, encouraging an awareness that extends beyond the self to recognize the divine essence in others and in the entirety of the natural world.
59. Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou introduces the idea of the Principle of Reverse, suggesting that challenges or obstacles can be turned into opportunities with a shift in perspective. The quote encourages a mindset that sees potential for growth and positive outcomes in adversity, highlighting the transformative power of understanding and applying this principle.
60. Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time. – Maya Angelou
This quote uses a metaphorical comparison between love and a virus to convey the unpredictable and contagious nature of love. Maya Angelou suggests that love has the capacity to strike anyone, anywhere, without warning. The analogy emphasizes the universality and spontaneous nature of love, portraying it as a force that can unexpectedly enter and influence people’s lives.
61. The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don’t know my story… – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou confronts the challenge of dealing with critics in this quote. She points out that those who harbor negativity or animosity often only witness the outward success or “glory” without understanding the personal struggles or journey that led to that point. The quote highlights the importance of empathy and a deeper understanding of others before passing judgment.
62. Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that the quicker we will be able to treat life as art. – Maya Angelou
This quote encourages a perspective shift towards embracing life as an adventure and viewing it as a form of art. Maya Angelou suggests that by recognizing the inherent unpredictability and excitement in life, individuals can approach their experiences with a creative mindset. The analogy to treating life as art implies an openness to exploration, spontaneity, and the appreciation of beauty in everyday moments.
63. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou emphasizes the importance of self-care and rejuvenation in this quote. The idea is that individuals deserve moments of respite, where the focus is on relaxation rather than problem-solving. It speaks to the necessity of taking breaks to recharge, allowing oneself the space to temporarily step away from the demands of daily challenges.
64. Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman. – Maya Angelou
This quote addresses the challenges of embracing change and new beginnings. Maya Angelou suggests that while embarking on a new path may be difficult, it is not more challenging than persisting in an environment that does not foster personal growth or well-being. It encourages individuals to prioritize their holistic needs and make courageous choices for their own fulfillment.
65. A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou celebrates the empowering mindset of a woman who believes in her worth and strives for excellence. The quote suggests that when a woman sets high standards for herself, both in what she accepts and what she offers, she is living a phenomenal life. It speaks to the transformative power of self-belief and the pursuit of excellence in one’s actions and endeavors.
66. My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return. – Maya Angelou
In this expression of hope, Maya Angelou captures a desire for a balanced and meaningful life. The wish to laugh as much as one cries, reflects a hope for joy amid life’s challenges. The aspiration to complete meaningful work, love others, and courageously accept reciprocal love suggests a holistic vision for a fulfilling and emotionally rich existence.
67. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou uses powerful metaphors to convey the contrasting effects of bitterness and anger. Bitterness, likened to cancer, is depicted as a destructive force that consumes the individual harboring it. In contrast, anger is compared to fire, suggesting a cleansing and purifying nature. The quote emphasizes the potential for anger to bring resolution and renewal when expressed and managed appropriately.
68. Some people cannot see a good thing when it is right here, right now. Others can sense a good thing coming when it is days, months, or miles away. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou explores different perspectives on recognizing and appreciating positive opportunities. The quote contrasts individuals who may overlook present blessings with those who possess foresight and intuition to anticipate and embrace future goodness. It underscores the importance of mindfulness, and the varied ways people perceive and value the positive aspects of life.
69. Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life. – Maya Angelou
This metaphorical statement by Maya Angelou highlights the empowering and fortifying role of poetry. The comparison to starch in the backbone suggests that poetry provides strength and structure, enabling individuals to stand resilient in the face of challenges. Additionally, the notion of composing one’s life suggests that poetry contributes to the shaping and expression of one’s personal narrative.
70. Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou advocates for the development of courage as a tool for personal empowerment and advocacy. The quote suggests a sequential process – first, cultivating the courage to stand up for oneself, and then extending that courage to advocate for others. It reflects a commitment to individual strength and the collective empowerment of those who may need support or representation.
71. A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou reflects on the enduring impact of a great soul. The quote suggests that a truly noble and compassionate spirit continues to serve others beyond its physical existence. The notion of bringing people together repeatedly implies that the positive influence of a great soul transcends time and unites individuals across different moments and experiences.
72. There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth. – Maya Angelou
In this philosophical observation, Maya Angelou distinguishes between truth and facts. While facts are tangible and can be presented objectively, truth is a deeper, more nuanced concept. The suggestion that facts can obscure truth emphasizes that the mere presentation of information may not convey the complete or genuine understanding of a situation, highlighting the importance of interpretation and context.
73. There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou comments on the vulnerability of youthful cynicism. The quote suggests that a young cynic, having transitioned from a state of ignorance to a state of disbelief, may miss out on the richness of genuine experience. It underscores the pitiful nature of a perspective that rejects belief without first exploring and embracing the possibilities of knowledge and understanding.
74. The main thing in one’s own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry. – Maya Angelou
In this advice on maintaining emotional balance, Maya Angelou encourages a lighthearted approach to life’s challenges. The quote emphasizes the importance of laughter as a counterbalance to tears, suggesting that finding joy amid difficulties contributes to a healthier emotional state. It reflects the idea that embracing humor and positivity can mitigate the impact of sorrow.
75. Have enough courage to trust loved one more time and always one more time. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou imparts a lesson on resilience and courage in relationships. The quote encourages individuals to overcome past hurts and disappointments by continuously finding the strength to trust loved ones again. It acknowledges the vulnerability inherent in trust but emphasizes the importance of ongoing courage in nurturing and maintaining meaningful connections.
76. I am the dream and the hope of the slave. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou encapsulates the significance of her existence in the context of historical struggle and oppression. The quote symbolizes the resilience and triumph over adversity. By identifying herself as the embodiment of dreams and hopes held by those who endured slavery, Angelou asserts her role in a legacy of resilience and progress, highlighting the enduring spirit of those who aspired for freedom.
77. Whining is not only graceless but can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou offers practical advice on the consequences of complaining or whining. The quote suggests that expressing discontent without grace or constructive purpose not only lacks elegance but can also attract unwanted attention. The metaphor of alerting a brute underscore the potential dangers of making oneself vulnerable to those who may take advantage of perceived weakness.
78. The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou uses a vivid metaphor to convey the dynamic nature of opportunity and change. The quote paints the horizon as a symbol of possibility, leaning forward to present space for individuals to take new steps. It encourages a forward-looking perspective, emphasizing that the future holds ample room for personal growth and transformative change.
79. Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives. – Maya Angelou
In this empowering statement, Maya Angelou outlines qualities she believes women should embody. The quote advocates for a balanced approach to life, where women are encouraged to be resilient (tough), compassionate (tender), joyful (laugh as much as possible), and lead long, fulfilling lives. It embraces a holistic view of women’s well-being and empowerment.
80. When women take care of their health, they become their own best friend. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou emphasizes the importance of self-care, particularly in the context of women’s health. The quote suggests that prioritizing one’s well-being is an act of self-empowerment, fostering a positive relationship with oneself. By framing health maintenance as self-care, Angelou advocates for women to become advocates for their own physical and emotional well-being.
Maya Angelou’s legacy extends beyond literature; it is a legacy of empowerment, compassion, and the unwavering belief in the potential for positive transformation. As we reflect on these quotes and their explanations, we are reminded that, like Angelou herself, we have the capacity to rise above challenges, celebrate the beauty of diversity, and, in her own words, “thrive with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” May her words continue to inspire and resonate, offering guidance for generations to come.