Maya Angelou and Destiny

I have a question for you.

Do you believe in destiny? Whether your answer is yes or no, I’d like to encourage you find the episode of Oprah’s Masterclass that features Maya Angelou and watch it.

I’ve watched this episode numerous times because it is so inspiring, and it reminds me not to worry. Dr. Angelou’s story is poetic, beautiful, and moving. It serves as a testament to the fact that as long as you are doing what you’re passionate about, greatness will follow.

At the age of 8, Maya Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. When her uncles found out, they beat the man to death. That experience made her believe that her words were so powerful that they had killed a man, so at 8, she stopped talking — completely. How ironic that her words turned out to be so powerful that they gave life to the millions of people she affected with her writings and poetry.

For 5 years Maya Angelou didn’t utter a word. One of her teachers, at the time, would give her books to read and she fell in love with poetry and literature. That same teacher is who pushed her to finally talk again.

By the age of 16, Dr. Angelou had decided that her dream job was to work as a translator for the United Nations. She said that she would sit outside of the U.N. building and watch people come and go. Since none of the people going in and out of the building looked like her, she felt that her dream of working there was so far out of reach that she wept.

Dr. Angelou went on to live and travel all over the world, becoming multi-lingual as she learned the languages of the countries in which she lived and visited. In 1995, she was commissioned by the United Nations to write a poem for their 50th anniversary celebration, which she delivered in front of a captive and enthralled audience.

There’s so much that we can all learn from Maya Angelou, but if you take nothing else from these two stories, understand that ANYTHING is possible and as long as you are pursuing what you’re passionate about, greatness will follow.

See you at the finish line!


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