16 Quotes From the Incomparable Maya Angelou You'll Immediately Fall in Love With
One of the most incredible minds of the last century, immortalized forever by her brilliant words.Â
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
â€œ[T]here is no thing so powerful as an idea whose time has comeâ€¦there is no person so right as one who struggles for the rights of others.â€
â€œI try to pull the language in to such a sharpness that it jumps off the page. It must look easy, but it takes me forever to get it to look so easy. Of course, there are those criticsâ€”New York critics as a ruleâ€”who say, Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course itâ€™s good but then sheâ€™s a natural writer. Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language."
â€œI would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a foolâ€”and Iâ€™m not any of thoseâ€”to say that I donâ€™t write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues."
â€œI like to write so that the readers are 30 pages into the book before they realize theyâ€™re reading. I like to write, try to write, so that the readers think theyâ€™re thinking that up.â€
â€œI would encourage the child to look at her [or] his world, at the people in their world, and to try to examine the cultures in their world without fear. I would try to lead the children into seeing that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.â€Â
â€œYou will be challenged mightily, and you will fall many times. But it is important to remember that it may be necessary to encounter defeat, I donâ€™t know. But I do know that a diamond, one of the most precious elements in this planet, certainly one in many ways the hardest, is the result of extreme pressure, and time. Under less pressure, itâ€™s crystal. Less pressure than that, its coal, less than that, its fossilized leaves are just plain dirt.â€
â€œI never trust anyone who says they love me if they say that they donâ€™t love themselves. You canâ€™t do it.â€
â€œI always write about my life 15 or 20 years later; then I can tell the truth about what happened, rather than the facts.â€
â€œDo the right thing. You really know what the right thing is. Fashions may change. Maybe you shouldn't wear short pants or short skirts or go without a shirt or go without a tie. That is a fashion, but the proper thing, the good thing to do, you already know. In truth, you know to be kind, to be courteous, to be fair. You know that.â€Â
â€œI encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.â€
â€œNever whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.â€
Â â€œTo develop courage you have to start developing courage as you do any other muscle. You have to start with small things and build it up.â€
â€œYou canâ€™t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.â€Â
â€œPoetry will help you to find out who you are inside yourself. If you really want to be at the top of your form, know who you are.â€
â€œI would like to be remembered as a person who dared to love and who loved my work as well as people.â€