23 Words of Wisdom From Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a famous poet, author, actress and civil rights activist who recently died in 2014.  She is perhaps best known for her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  This autobiography went on to become the first nonfiction best-seller written by an African-American woman.

Angelou had a highly decorated and accomplished career.  She won a handful of Grammy Awards (for “Best Spoken Word Album”), several NAACP awards and was given the Presidential Medal of Honor by President Obama.  She was also asked to read one of her poems at President Clinton’s inauguration.

Maya Angelou definitely had a way with words, and many of her quotes and writings were inspirational, imaginative and thought-provoking.

Here are a few of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes to share with you today:

1. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

2. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

3. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

4. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

5. “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.”

6. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

7. “If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.”

8. “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”

9. “I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.”

10. “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”

11. “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

12. “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.”

13. “All great achievements require time.”

14. “Nothing will work unless you do.”

15. “I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.”

16. “Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.”

17. “I believe that every person is born with talent.”

18. “I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.”

19. “Achievement brings its own anticlimax.”

20. “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.”

21. “I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other human beings.”

22. “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

23. “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.”

I hope you enjoyed these words of wisdom from Maya Angelou.  Did you find any of these quotes inspiring?  Comment below and let me know!

All the best,


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