10 Life Lessons from Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou: the mother of your favorite feminist poet's style

The world says goodbye to one of the most influential voices of our time. Maya Angelou, who passed away on May 27th, She was a woman of many talents---renowned poet, novelist, singer, dancer and civil rights activist. With over 30 honorary degrees, Dr. Maya Angelou was also professor who never herself went to college, teaching American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Her life was a testament to the power of the human spirit. She will continue to live on through her words, which have touched so many lives.

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In honor of the legendary writer, here are 10 of her most memorable quotes:

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. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can be anything erratically, but to be that thing after time, you need courage.”

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

4. “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

5. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”

6. “You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

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

8. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.” 

9. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” 

10. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” 

Ravelle Worthington is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @ravmo.