Maya Angelou on Oprah’s Master Class series

“Words are things; I’m convinced. You must be careful about the words you use or the words you allow to be used in your house…they get in your walls; they get in your wallpaper; they get in your upholstery; they get in your clothes; and finally, into you.”

“You can only be great at the thing you’re willing to sacrifice for.”

“Baby, those people [who say hurtful things or betray you] can’t hold a candle to the light God already has shining on your face. Don’t you know you are? You’re God’s child.”

“…and I have to know that the brute, the bigot and the batterer are all children of God–whether they know it or not–and I’m supposed to treat them accordingly. It’s hard and I blow it all the time. I’d like everybody to think of a statement by Terrence. The statement is, ‘I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me.’ If you can internalize at least a portion of that, you will never be able to say of an act, a criminal act, ‘Oh, I couldn’t do that.’ No matter how heinous the crime. If a human being did it, you have to say, ‘I have in me all the components that are in her or in him. I intend to use all of my energies constructively as opposed to destructively.’ If you can do that about the negative, just think what you can do about the positive.”

“If a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born, it means so can you!”

“When you get, give. When you learn, teach.”

“Ego holds. Love liberates.”

“Right may not be expedient. It may not be profitable. But it will satisfy your soul.”

“Take up the battle. Make the world a better place, just where you are. And it will be, because of us.”


About J.

A former twentysomething with a head full of curls and heart full of questions wondering: when we get to nirvana, will there be food?
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