Apr 3, 2016

Maya Angelou and Living The Remarkable

Photo by - Barry Polansky  
He entered my office asking for food. Shabbily dressed with only a few teeth, his smile was captivating, his eyes sparkled and as we conversed, I was startled.

His vocabulary was laced with intelligence and his knowledge amazing. I was stunned by the brilliance of the toothless man who at one point referred to himself as “a scientist”; but who looked like he’d crawled from beneath a bridge and ate his last meal from a dumpster.

      I remarked about his vocabulary and he chuckled. “I’m an avid reader.”

     With interest piqued I said, “What do you read?”

 Obviously delighted that someone cared, he replied, “The philosophers” and named a few. Then “the psychologists” and named a few of those. I was stunned!

The man I was hearing should’ve been dressed in an expensive suit, sipping strong brew at Starbucks or dining at the Ritz-Carlton, rather than a shabby looking hobo. That “Diamond in the Rough” was truly a remarkable man–I shall never forget.


Another unforgettable person was Dr. Maya Angelou. She died in 2014 but because she was such a remarkable person, her words live on to encourage and help motivate us.

   “Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, thrive with passion, compassion, and style.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

           “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

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

      “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but with potential. Without courage, we can’t practice any other virtue with consistency…”

“When I found… that I was a child of God…understood that...internalized that…I became courageous.”

“You can't use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

“My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive.”

Maya Angelou did not complain, lean on others, or act like a victim of circumstances.

  • Through Maya’s writings we can learn how to enjoy each day to the fullest
  • Make this world a better place and
  • Help Others along the way--to "not only survive but to thrive."
Thanks to the Toothless Man who was truly a Diamond–and to Maya Angelou, I have seen the remarkable.
How have you been encouraged by the Remarkable?

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