Margaret Eby
May 28, 2014 10:17 am

The great poet, civil rights activist, and literary hero Dr. Maya Angelou died on May 28. In her lifetime she wrote so much, so beautifully, that it would be impossible to boil her work down into just a few excerpts.

But as a way to commemorate the late poet today, people began trading their favorite snippets of Angelou’s wisdom, a few clipped sentences to carry around, talisman-like. On Twitter, users began swapping them under the hashtag #MayaTaughtMe, along with the ways that the writer had personally touched their lives.

Many of these inspiring quotes from the late icon serve as reminders to pick up a copy of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” or “Mom & Me & Mom” or “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes,” in order to revisit the works of one of America’s great literary treasures. In her memory, we’ve compiled 10 lessons #MayaTaughtMe, which we’ll never forget.

  1. “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.”
  2. “If someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
  3. “To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents.”
  4. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
  5. “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
  6. “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”
  7. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
  8. “Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure — so in the end, she didn’t fail at all.”
  9. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an opinion.”
  10. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

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