If you've been following the news, you'll know that writer and poet Maya Angelou passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Singsis probably Angelou's most famous work and has brought her international acclaim since she first penned and released the memoir in 1969. The impact of her work cannot be belittled; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is not only considered an American classic, but is also the most widely-read memoir of the 20th century.
If you've had a chance to read it, you know without a doubt that Angelou's rocky history and the poise and grace with which she navigated through the tumultuous beginning years of her life and went on to become one of the most acclaimed African-American writers of our time, prove that she is the ultimate example of a true survivor.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings might bring you to tears at times, it is, after all, a graphic recounting of the first 17 years of Angelou's life in which she experienced rape, violence, and racism in the 1930s segregated South. But as Angelou approached the dusk of her life earlier this week, she undoubtedly preferred to leave behind a message of hope and an assurance that no matter what difficulties we all face, like her, we can be survivors.
So in memory of the intrepid and impacting Maya Angelou, let's look at 5 beloved quotes which reveal her true tenacity and optimism for life:
1. “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.”2. “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.” 3. “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”4. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
And one of my all-time favorites:
5. “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.”
Let's all raise our glass to the wonderful Maya Angelou who will be forever immortalized through her words. Rest in peace, Maya, you will be sorely missed!