RIP, Maya Angelou, Joe GirardToday marks the passing of Maya Angelou, age 86. She was one of those people who definitely made a dent on the universe.

Let’s honor her today and share her words. I put this post together with some of her videos and quotes in the hopes that it will inspire you:

  • To think.  
  • To reflect.  
  • To grow.

You have probably seen many of Maya Angelou’s quotes and even used them in powerpoint presentations, but today I encourage you to watch her videos and listen to her words. See the conviction, the passion, and the absolute warmth she exudes in every word she speaks.

Ask yourself how you can learn from such a person. Can you take Maya Angelou’s lessons and do something today with them?

Find the time today to watch these videos. Discuss them with your friends and family and see if you can allow her lessons to live through you.

The Best Advice Maya Angelou Has Ever Given (on Oprah)

This first video was Maya Angelou on Oprah talking about being a friend, and in ensuring you keep yourself safe from others. And most importantly, that we should forgive and what forgiveness really means. Wonderful advice.

Click here to watch the Best Advice Maya Angelou Has Ever Given

“I KNOW that I don’t know ENOUGH…” “When someone is invasive to you…you need to be able to say BACK OFF.” “In order to get a friend, you need to be a friend.”

Lessons on Raising the New Generation- Maya Angelou

In this video, Angelou talks about the responsibility WE ALL have in helping future generations and to not let even ONE child slip away. That parents don’t need to protect their children from the horrors of the past and to learn from all of those who have gone before them.

Click here to watch the Raising a New Generation video.

“Those who do not learn from his or hers history is doomed to repeat it. And repeat it. And repeat it.” “Life will slam a modest person against the wall. And the modesty will drop off faster than a G-String would drop off from a stripper.” “Humility says there was someone who came before me…and there is someone coming behind me..I must prepare the way.”

Maya Angelou on Courage

Often we look at great leaders and think, “They are way beyond MY abilities.” ANd then we go back to our “normal” lives.

This is a short video where Maya Angelou discusses Martin Luther King and that it is very dangerous to make a person larger than life.

She encourages us to look at even our greatest leaders as human beings so we can all strive to be greater ourselves. That greatness is something we can all attain.

Click here to watch Maya Angelou on Courage

“If you don’t have courage, sooner or later you will stop and say…the threat is too much, the difficulty is too high, the challenge is too great.”

One Percent Free of Complaints – Maya Angelou

How often do we complain? How many times a day do we find fault in others? Look for blame? Or whine about our life?

This is a thought-provoking video where Angelou discusses what the world would be like if we just used a small part of ourselves to become compliant free.  War would be laughed out of the room, people would speak more kindly to each other, and courtesy would be back in the house.

Click here to watch One Percent by Maya Angelou

“If one percent of our world was complaint free, we would care more about the children and realize that every child is our child.”

Finding My Voice – Maya Angelou

In this video, Angelou talks about how it was dangerous for her to be silent. That she, like many of us, struggle with speaking our minds. That we must battle the tendency to remain silent.

Click here to watch the Finding My Voice video by Maya Angelou

“I speak loudly and firmly…because mutism is like a drug. It is so addictive. You don’t have to do anything.”

Being Honest with Yourself and Your History – Maya Angelou (Gather Together in My Name)

This video gives me chills. Angelou talks about the way we all try and hide our past from each other. That we try and posture ourselves and not be true to our lessons. You MUST WATCH this one.

Angelou says, “Young people think that they are the lowest people. That their parents have no skeletons in their closets.”  She will admit where she has been and we should all do the same.

Click here to watch Gather Together in My Name – Maya Angelou

“You will encounter defeats, but you must not be defeated” “Through defeats you can know who you are. That you can rely upon yourself. That you can pull yourself up.”

Maya Angelou’s Poem for Nelson Mandela

I got shivers again when I watched this video because it was her poem to an amazing man who passed away. It is even more impactful today, on the day of HER passing. I listened to her words and the connectedness I felt between these two great leaders made me think of all the ways we live on this earth together.

Mandela’s struggles and lessons lived on through her words and now her words echo through us.

Click here to watch Maya Angelou’s Poem for Nelson Mandela

“We felt the cool refreshing breeze of freedom.”

11 of the Best Quotes From Maya Angelou

To finish off, I went around the internet looking for quotes and pulled these for you. Feel free to share them and tweet them. I hope they remind you to be strong and live a good 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. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
  3. “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.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “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.”
  8. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
  9. “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
  10. “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.”
  11. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

I am very happy that I can share this with you today and celebrate the life of an amazing woman who has made a profound impact on the lives of many. Please comment below and remember to share this. You never know who will need these words the most.

Joe Girard
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