10 Times Maya Angelou Taught Us The Meaning Of Life

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As an advocate for love and peace between all, regardless of race or social status, author and activist Maya Angelou aided in pioneering the civil rights movement by using her lyrical genius to bring the often dismissed issues on racial discrimination to light. 

Best known for her book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou also wrote a number of other autobiographies and essays as well as several books of poetry. In 1993, she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, which brought her powerful words to a much larger audience.

Forever inspired by her determined nature and powerful words, here are our favorite Maya Angelou quotes on love, life and the pursuit of happiness.


"Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time."


"I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life.' I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."


"I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt."


"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."


"My great hope is to 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."


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


"We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives."


"You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you."


"If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?"


"The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise."

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