Seasons greetings and best wishes for 2018

Maya Angelou’s Writing Continues to Inspire

I’ve never failed to be touched by the many wise sayings sprinkled through the writings of the late poet, actor, activist, and writer, Maya Angelou.

She is no longer with us, but the beauty of her words and views on life continue to inspire. And inspiration and hope are what I believe we are all seeking during these troubled times at home and in the world.

I’ll begin with my favorite quote because it is a constant reminder of how important it is in life and business to extend a helping hand – to a friend, someone in need, or a young person just beginning to build a career.

From Maya Angelou:

“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.”
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
“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.”
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
“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.”
“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get 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.”

Do you have a favorite poem or saying that inspires you? If so, will you share it in the comments section below?

Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes for 2018

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  1. Jeannette, you are so right. Maya Angelou’s words are incredibly inspirational. Individually, each of these quotes is wonderful; collectively, they are sensational. The quote I like best: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

    Since you asked, my favorite poem is Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” My favorite saying, which is so appropriate for the times we live in today, is from President Kennedy’s inaugural address in 1961: “My fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” If we only had a president and congressional leaders who actually lived up to that ideal, just think how our spirits would be buoyed in this holiday season…or any season!

    Thanks for sharing. Your blog post today is the best Christmas card ever!

    • Mark — so glad you liked the quotes. They are truly inspirational. The John F. Kennedy quote you mentioned is one of my favorites, too. Another famous quote of his related to the Vietnam War is as apt today: “Life is unfair.” As President Kennedy said, “… It’s very hard in military or in personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair.” Inequality has only grown worse since then and is being exacerbated under the current administration.

  2. “I know why the caged bird sings,” is in my winter reading pile. I can’t believe I have never read it!
    I’m partial to Gandhi’s: Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” He sums up how to act in that simple sentence.
    As I wandered through Target today (I had to–not for Christmas stuff!), I tried smiling at every person whose eyes I could catch. Every stressed out person smiled back!

    • RoseMary — I haven’t read the Caged Bird yet either. Oh, the power of a smile. It’s almost impossible not to respond in kind when someone smiles at you.

  3. Those are amazing quotes, Jeannette! I knew at least a couple of them were attributable to Maya, but I didn’t realize she was behind so many of my favourite quotes! Thx for posting this. And Merry Christmas to you!

    • Doreen — and there are even more well known quotes that I didn’t use. I particularly appreciated her tangles Christmas tree lights quote — I had a lot of trouble with my light this year!

  4. “Little by little, one travels far” from J.R.R. Tolkein has always been one of my favorite quotes. I also like the one from Angelou that says something to the effect about doing better when you know better.

    • Jeri — I didn’t know the quote “Little by little, one travels far.” It could be interpreted in several ways, but I take from it that you have to keep going, one step at a time. While the steps may be small, added up they bring you closer to your goal.

  5. She’s so right when she writes, ask for what you want and be prepared to get it. Some people ask for the wrong things and then wonder why that happened to them. Merry Christmas, Jeannette!

  6. Maya Angelou’s poems have always inspired me. I was blown away by her book “I know why the cage bird sings”. I felt I was right there with her in her family home and family owned grocery store.

    One of my favourite quotes is by Marrianne Williamson and until now I assumed it was quoted by Nelson Mandela.

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness
    That most frightens us.

    We ask ourselves
    Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.

    Your playing small
    Does not serve the world.
    There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
    So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

    We are all meant to shine,
    As children do.
    We were born to make manifest
    The glory of God that is within us.

    It’s not just in some of us;
    It’s in everyone.

    And as we let our own light shine,
    We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
    As we’re liberated from our own fear,
    Our presence automatically liberates others.
    Phoenicia recently posted..The art of givingMy Profile

    • Phoenicia — thanks so much for taking the time to leave the lovely sentiment by Marrianne Williamson. I have to admit I didn’t know her just just did a search and discovered that she is a best-selling spiritual author and speaker. Thanks for introducing her to me.

  7. I loved reading this : “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.”
    It is true that a person’s attitude tells us a lot about him. Although I haven’t read any work of Maya Angelou, but it looks like I want to read her creations in future.

  8. Those are amazing quotes, Jeannette! I knew at least a couple of them were attributable to Maya, but I didn’t realize she was behind so many of my favourite quotes! Thx for posting this. And Merry Christmas to you!