“You may not control all the events that happen to you,
But you can decide not to be reduced by them”
The mighty pen that wrote these words fell silent this week. We, the world, lost Maya Angelou, one of the greatest American writers of our times…of all times.
I had an opportunity to meet Maya Angelou very briefly. It was not the meeting itself but her words that made her such an inspiration to me, providing the guidance someone might receive from a trusted mentor. After all, a mentor helps you listen to your own voice, understand your inner strength then act to leverage the two.
Her one sentence (You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them) has done all of this for me. It has helped me have patience to deal with difficult people, to manage impossible situations and to put my failures in perspective.
As a woman and an Indian-American, it would have been easy for me to blame “the unfair world” around me as I faced challenges in the path of leadership, but Maya Angelou never let me have that luxury. Every time I tried to blame the world and wallow in despair, her words would dance in front of my eyes, as if saying, “Get up and try harder! You are better than this.”
As a tribute to Maya Angelou, I hope that you will read some of her words, for they may inspire you the way they have inspired me.
My favorites from Maya Angelou:
“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”
“My great hope is that I laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”
Indeed, Madam Angelou, you have cried, you have laughed, you have loved, but most importantly, you have given us ourselves!