Soul Vitamins

ADAPTATION FROM MAYA ANGELOU: ON HUMAN NATURE AND IDENTITY

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When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. But just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you. Nobody can tell the story of who you are like you can, it’s ok if the story is a little muddled up at the moment, and if it hasn’t come together in a neat arrangement (whose life is neatly arranged, anyway)….continue to live it because anything worthwhile takes time. The flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one burst; it’s in the blossoming that real magic unfolds.

There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. With the reign of so much hurt and evil in this world, it is very easy for cynicism to be introduced into our lives and hearts, but it is important to fight it by nourishing our center as we continue to evolve. There’s good in the world, one of the most beautiful things about life is that out of evil can come good and what is meant to be a source of destruction and misery can be a great source of enlightenment and growth. “We need the courage to create ourselves daily, to be bodacious enough to create ourselves daily — as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as thinking, caring, laughing, loving human beings. I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable”.  

Life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you. What education should teach everyone is to discover her/his uniqueness, how to develop that uniqueness, and how to share it with the world because that is really the only reason to have anything. But we aren’t taught to seek our own uniqueness; rather we’re piled into categories with narrow labels and definitions that have nothing to do with the immensities that lie within. Our culture of conformity transcends the education system and spills into our everyday lives, at all levels of the society – its result is a narrow field of belonging, which in turn casts anyone outside of it as a misfit. There are too many beautiful things about each human being to give her/him a label and set aside. What does living mean to you? Discovering that is an on-going process. But, “we need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world to be is what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be, but that’s the scene we are living in. Are you really you or are you what people have told you that you are? And are you interested in really knowing who you are because if you are, it is the happiest and most interesting trip of your life”.

And lastly, Be courageous, but not foolhardy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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