Among my favorite things are inspirational quotes. I am impressed with those who can paint pictures with words and express thoughts succinctly and creatively. This past week saw the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou, a lyrical thoughtful writer, poet, teacher and faithful woman. I had the pleasure of seeing her speak at a local university several years ago and although I don’t remember what she spoke about, I do remember feeling enraptured by her words, their rhythm and strength flowing easily. She had the gift of empathy, to meet people where they were, to listen and inspire.
Two of her commonly cited quotes have spoken often to me over the years; one has always seemed like a reality check. People won’t remember what we said or did, but will remember how we made them feel. That’s a powerful notion. It’s almost intimidating isn’t it? We can touch people, often unknowingly, by how they feel after we part ways.
The second quote I think of often is this: When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. An analogy is the tiger showing his stripes or a person showing their true colors. I think the gist is the same: we may want to believe someone we like or love is different deep down inside, but they show us who they are by their actions. Life is so much easier if we accept others for what they show themselves to be rather than waiting around for them to change.
Mayo Angelou will be quoted for years to come. I am sad for those who won’t hear her voice or read her books. Feelings of gratitude and inspiration are what she left with me. May she rest peacefully.
Make it a good week!