If I’d had a daughter she may well have been have been called Maya. I decided that a long time ago, when I was not much older than my eldest son is now.
That’s because I’d just read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou’s first autobiography. It tells of the horrible events of her childhood and how she survived, learned and grew.
From then on, it didn’t so much matter what happened to me, what the Fates tried to trip me with, I would learn from it and write about it, eventually. Life’s mishaps – big or small – would be met be a robust: “Fantastic. This is going to make a fascinating chapter.”
This week, the wisest, most honest and courageous of women died. The world is doubtless a diminished place without her, but she lived every one of her years with more oomf than most of us manage in our whole run.
Here are some of my favourite quotes, ones that give me pause for thought and something to lean towards. Feel free to direct me back here if you find me idle, whingy or gut-less.
Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Nothing will work unless you do.
I‘ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
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.
If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.