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Quotes of the day: Maya Angelou

Published Friday, April 04, 2014 @ 3:07 AM EDT
Apr 04 2014

Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou was best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim. (Updated May 28, 2014) (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning's greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications.

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.

Because of our routines we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure.

Being a woman is hard work.

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns all clean.

Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without it we can't practice any other virtue with consistency. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Effective action is always unjust.

I am capable of what every other human is capable of. This is one of the great lessons of war and life.

I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

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.

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

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.

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.

If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

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

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.

Living a life is like constructing a building: if you start wrong, you'll end wrong.

Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, 'I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway.'

Nothing will work unless you do.

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

Tell the truth and not the facts.

The needs of a society determine its ethics.

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.

There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.

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.

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

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

You don't have to think about doing the right thing. If you're for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.

Categories: Maya Angelou, Quotes of the day


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