Her 84 years of living took her across continents, around the globe, through marriages, and into the hearts of social activists, TV icons, Presidents, pastors and ordinary people looking for hope and love.
Born Marguerite Anne Johnson on April 4, 1928, she would change her name to “Maya” and later adopt the appellation, “Dr” only because she wanted others to call her “Dr.”
“I have studied everything. I spent some time with Zen Buddhism and Judaism and I spent some time with Islam. I found that I really want to be a Christian. When I say, ‘I am a Christian’ I don’t speak of this with pride. I’m confessing that I stumble and need CHRIST to be my guide.”
17 Quotes From Maya Angelou
1. “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.”
2. “I found that I knew not only that there was God but that I was a child of God, when I understood that I became courageous.”
3. “If God loves me then what is it I can’t do?”
4. “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated.”
5. “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
6. “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.”
7. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
8. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
9. “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”
10. “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”
11. “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.”
12. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
13. “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.”
14. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
15. “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.”
16. “You may not control all of the events that happen to you but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
17. Maya quotes Marianne Williamson – ” Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
APPLICATION: Do you have a favorite Maya Angelou quote?
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