25 Brilliant Quotes by Maya Angelou

Poet, author, and dancer Maya Angelou passed away on May 28 of this year, but her influence will span much further than her lifetime. She was an avid activist for African American and women’s rights, and frequently spoke on the importance of literacy.

Here are 25 brilliant quotes that highlight her timeless wisdom:

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.

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to
arrive at its destination full of hope.

Nothing will work unless you do.

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does
go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples
cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and
understand each other, we may even become friends.

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

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.

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

As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles
these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

Live as though life was created for you.

What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing
what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to
take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you
occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive
alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.

The human heart…tells us that we are more alike than we are unalike.

In all my work, I try to say – ‘You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not
try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?’

I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There
is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t
change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has
gone through to achieve that beauty.

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make
money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so
well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the
Principle of Reverse.

We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that
time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.

Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.

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.

For more quotes from this author, visit the Maya Angelou Page for a more extensive listing.

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