Dr. Maya Angelou 1928-2014

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[Vogue Daily]

This morning the world lost a beautiful soul. My heart is heavy with sadness to hear of the passing of the brilliant and wonderful, Maya Angelou. She has touched more lives with her writings and teachings than she will ever know. She speaks words of wisdom that connect on such a deep level with so many individuals. She understands the true meaning of life and love; and she shares that every day with the rest of the world. If only more people valued and understood human life the way she does, people would have no choice but to love more often and more sincerely. Dr. Maya Angelou is one of my personal heroes. Her writings and her teachings continuously hit home for me.

“So try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia, and timidity. Take up the battle. Take it up. It’s yours. This is your life. This is your world. I’ll be leaving it long before you under the ordinary circumstances. You make your own choices. You can decide life isn’t worth living. And that would be the worst thing you could do. How do you know? So far. Try it. See. So pick it up. Pick up the battle and make it a better world. Just where you are. Yes. And it can be better and it must be better. But it is up to us.”

Dr. Maya Angelou was a storyteller, a poet, an activist, a dancer, singer, author and much more. I have learned that to love someone and to spread love to others is a simple task, yet it is incredibly complex because when you spread the joy of love; you are spreading hope to others. You are showing others that you truly care about them. We are all human beings. There is nothing you cannot do and nothing that will hold you back from your dreams as much as yourself.

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“Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now. So I love you. Go.'”

Maya, I will forever share the love and wisdom you have taught me. My kids will know who you are and the love you shared. You will never be forgotten. Your legacy lives on through all of the lives you have touched. Your life is a testament of love, hope, truth, and that we are all humans and worthy of an amazing life. We are all teachers. “If you teach, you have to live your teaching. You can’t say ‘you do not as I do but do as I say. No no. You have to say ‘I’m doing my best to live what I teach.'” Thank you for everything you have taught us.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

Maya Angelou
[photograph credits]

“Still I Rise”
by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

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.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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