A Collection of Maya Angelou’s Most Inspiring Quotes & Mandela Video

Maya Angelou – poet, author, activist, playwright, historian, director, producer and actor (the list is endless) – sadly passed away this morning at the age of 86.

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou: 04/04/28 – 28/05/14. Source: Mayaangelou.com

Apart from her mountain of accolades and achievements, Maya also enjoyed a passion for dancing throughout her life, was mentor and friend to American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and wrote a commemorative poem “His Day is Done” for her friend Nelson Mandela when the former South African prisoner and president died in December last year. (Watch video below.)

The poem included such memorable lines as “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn”.

Now that Maya Angelou’s own day is done, we celebrate her life with a few more of her unforgettable quotes. 19 to be exact.


Our 19 Favourite Quotes from Maya Angelou

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

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

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

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

Rainbow in South Africa“Nothing will work unless you do.”

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

“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.”

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

“The honorary duty of a human being is to love.”

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

“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.”

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.”

Watch Video: His Day is Done – A Tribute Poem for Nelson Mandela by Dr Maya Angelou

RIP Maya Angelou and thank you for all you brought to our world.