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April 4th is Maya Angelou’s birthday. And what better time to celebrate this iconic heroine than now—when we’re hungry for glimmers of hope during these times of uncertainty. 

The effortless and endlessly classy Dr. Maya Angelou had a powerful social circle and a string of accomplishments, including singer, poet and civil rights activist. She was a gifted wordsmith and authored essays, autobiographies, plays and movies over the course of 50 years.

Angelou was fiercely aware of the weight that words could carry, both positive and negative, their ability to move mountains and start wars. She once noted,

“Someday we’ll be able to measure the power of words—I think they are things, they get on the walls, they get on your wallpaper, they get in your rugs, in your upholstery, in your clothes and finally into you.”

Words are powerful, penetrable and, at times, painful. Angelou stood for higher energies and she spent her life spreading her knowledge around the world. Her wisdom knew no boundaries and she challenged norms, she fought passionately for marriage equality and civil rights. 

As we soldier through these challenging, unusual times, words have become our sole form of communication, and Dr. Angelou would encourage us to use it wisely. 

Here’s a list of our top ten favorite quotes by Dr. Maya Angelou, we hope you learn and grow from them like we did. 

1. "I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision." - Dr. Maya Angelou


2. "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Dr. Maya Angelou

3. "If you must look back, do so forgivingly.  If you will look forward, do so prayerfully.  But the wisest course would be to be present in the present....gratefully." - Dr. Maya Angelou

4. "If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be." - Dr. Maya Angelou

5. "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Dr. Maya Angelou

6. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Dr. Maya Angelou

7. "I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision." - Dr. Maya Angelou

8.“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.” - Dr. Maya Angelou

9. "Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it." - Dr. Maya Angelou


10."Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." - Dr. Maya Angelou

Written by: Rachel Laiosa