I admire successful women, not necessarily financial success, but women who have pulled themselves from nothing, meager beginnings or adverse situations, and emerged from those adversities to achieve what some only dream about.
Maya Angelou was one of those women. Every time she spoke I listened with great anticipation of being inspired. Her words were so elegant and full of substance, provoking me to stand firm and stay on course with my goals.
Even though I was not honored to have personally met her, she was part of my path and growth through her writings, good deeds and actions. She proved that you don't always have to come from something to be something. Great people can come from unknown places. She was not without fault, but rather than hide the misfortunes of her youth, she wrote about it in the award winning autobiography, I Know Why Caged Birds Sing. Opposed to living her life as a victim, she rose to become a prolific writer, author, teacher and activist who educated and inspired millions.
Through her widely popular poem, Phenomenal Woman, Maya taught women that true beauty is not on the cover of magazines, but beauty eludes from your body language with attitude and confidence. She encouraged men to look beyond our external features and discover our inner mysteries.
I give honor to Maya Angelou. It's beautiful when you touch someone's life and your legacy is a gift to future generations. That gift should not be taken for granted. If Maya touched many, surely we can touch a few. It only takes one to touch another. Imagine the boundaries we could cross with an arm's reach.
She died quietly in her sleep. Her voice is gone, but her light will shine forever.
Maya Angelou was one of those women.