Maya Angelou Top Quotes


Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

You listen with interest. That gives some sense of confidence to the speaker.

Short Maya Angelou Quotes
Short Maya Angelou Quotes

I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life”.

I like to go back and read poems that I wrote fifty years ago, twenty years ago, and sometimes they surprise me – I didn’t know I knew that then. Or maybe I didn’t know it then, and I know more now. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I’ve learned that forgiving is one of the greatest gifts that I can give myself.

A leader sees greatness in other people. He nor she can be much of a leader if all she sees is herself.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.


I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. 

We are here to love each other. That is why you are alive. That is what life is for.

There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it. 

You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that, I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.

Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go’. 

True Maya Angelou Quotes
True Maya Angelou Quotes

Human beings are more alike than unalike. Whether in Paris, Texas, or Paris, France, we all want to have good jobs where we are needed and respected and paid just a little more than we deserve. We want healthy children, safe streets, to be loved and have the unmitigated gall to accept love. 

I’m considered wise, and sometimes I see myself as knowing. Most of the time, I see myself as wanting to know. And I see myself as a very interested person. I’ve never been bored in my life.

Maya Angelou Quotes On Life

Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.~ Maya Angelou Quotes

We can be better, we can be wiser, we can be more kind. Yes, we have to change. We have to grow up and stop acting like 10 years old. Yes, there is much to do, much to see, much to go into.

Open your eyes to the beauty around you, open your mind to the wonders of life, open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.

Don’t Miss These Romantic Quotes 

I believe in living a poetic life, an art full of life. Everything we do from the way we raise our children to the way we welcome our friends is part of a large canvas we are creating. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

If we live long enough, we may even get over war. I imagine a time when somebody will mention the word war and everyone in the room will start to laugh. And what do you mean war? ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I encourage courtesy. To accept nothing less than courtesy, and to give nothing less than courtesy.

There are those who say that poets should use her and his art to change the world. I’d agree with that, but I think everybody should do that. I think the chef and the baker and the candlestick maker – I think everybody should be hoping to make it a better world. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

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.

To those who have given up on love: I say, “Trust life a little bit”.


I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love.

What I really would like said about me is that I dared to love. By love, I mean that condition in the human spirit so profound it encourages us to develop courage and build bridges, and then to trust those bridges and cross the bridges in attempts to reach other human beings. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

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. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes On Love And Relationships

Suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.

The first best is falling in love. The second best is being in love. Least good is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

You can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don’t just want to possess it, it will find you. But if you’re in love with the thing, it may run like hell away from you. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes About Love

Life Quotes Maya Angelou
Life Quotes Maya Angelou

When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.

It’s very hard for adults to maintain respect and romance so that a love affair can be sustained over the years.

Forgiveness. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. You are relieved of carrying that burden of resentment. You really are lighter. You feel lighter. You just drop that. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

When people see the laughing face, even if they’re jealous of it, their burden is lightened. But do it first for yourself. Laugh and dare to try to love somebody, starting with your

Maya Angelou Quotes On Love

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

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I believe that people want the scent of love, more than anything else. And I don’t mean sentimentality, I don’t mean much. I mean that idea, that human beings are more alike than we are different. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

It’s hard because people think they have something to lose and the truth is they have everything to gain in trying to love somebody.

Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.

Maya Angelou Quotes About Life
Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

By love, I don’t mean indulgence. I do not mean sentimentality. And in this instance, I don’t even mean romance. I mean that condition that allowed humans to dream of God. That condition that allowed the “dumb” to write spirituals and Russian songs and Irish lilts. That is love, and it’s so much larger than anything I can conceive. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

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

If you happen to fall in love with someone in another race, it’s more difficult, because you have to translate yourself.

I’m convinced that the negative has power. It lives. And if you allow it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said – the lambasting, the gay-bashing, the hate – I say, “Take it all out of my house!” Those negative words climb into the woodwork and into the furniture, and the next thing you know they’ll be on my skin. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

If you want to liberate someone, love them. Not be in love with them – that’s dangerous.

If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.


I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. -Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes About Love
Maya Angelou Quotes About Love

I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.

Be present in all things and thankful for all things.

I try to see every day as a celebration.

If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

She comprehended the perversity of life, that in the struggle lies the joy.

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.

Joy is freedom. It helps a person to find his or her own liberation. The person who is joyous takes responsibility for the time he/she takes up and the space that he/she occupies. You share it! Some of you have it … you share it! That is what joy is! When you continue to give it away you will still have so much more of it. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes On Mother
Maya Angelou Quotes On Mother

The ship of my life may or may not be sailing on calm and amiable seas. The challenging days of my existence may or may not be bright and promising. Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude. If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow. Today I am blessed.

When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness… all the good things.

Every day I awaken I am grateful. My intent is to be totally present in that day. And laugh as much as possible.

Happiness is a chance to talk to a friend, to hear good music, to have a good glass of wine. Happiness is a chance to be me and to find people with whom I agree or who I don’t agree but I can learn something. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

It’s the fire in my eyes, and the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, and the joy in my feet.

Be present in all things and thankful for all things. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes


Love Quotes Maya Angelou
Love Quotes Maya Angelou

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Only equals can become friends.

Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.

Maya Angelou Friendship Quotes

A man or woman who sees other people as a whole and prepared and accords them respect and the same rights has arranged his or her own allies. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes On Friendship

Maya Angelou Love Quotes
Maya Angelou Love Quotes

I think the more we know the better we are. I mean not just facts. The more we know about each other, the closer we are to learn something about our selves. 

I think we ought to give ourselves more time. We should be more patient with ourselves and with each other.

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes


I do not believe that the accident of birth makes people sisters and brothers. It makes them siblings. Gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood are conditioned people have to work at. It’s a serious matter. You compromise, you give, you take, you stand firm, and you’re relentless…And it is an investment. Sisterhood means if you happen to be in Burma and I happen to be in San Diego and I’m married to someone who is very jealous and you’re married to somebody who is very possessive if you call me in the middle of the night, I have to come. 

The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.

I sustain myself with the love of family.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

Home is a refuge not only from the world, but a refuge from my worries, my troubles, my concerns.

My pride had been starched by a family who assumed unlimited authority in its own affairs.

If I have a monument in this world, it is my son. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Joy Quotes
Maya Angelou Joy Quotes

The sisters and brothers that you meet give you the materials which your character uses to build itself. It is said that some people are born great, others achieve it, some have it thrust upon them. In truth, the ways in which your character is built have to do with all three of those. Those around you, those you choose, and those who choose you.


I have a feeling that I make a very good friend, and I’m a good mother, and a good sister, and a good citizen. I am involved in life itself – all of it. And I have a lot of energy and a lot of nerves. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

The sadness of the women’s movement is that they don’t allow the necessity of love. See, I don’t personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.

Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I became the kind of parent my mother was to me.

Maya Angelou Quotes About Women

I am a woman phenomenally, a phenomenal woman that is your grandmother, that is your mother, that is your sister, that is you and that is me. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes On Mother

A mother’s love liberates.

Courage allows the successful woman to fail – and to learn powerful lessons from the failure – so that in the end, she didn’t fail at all. 

Happiness Quotes Maya Angelou
Happiness Quotes Maya Angelou

On her mother: On the night she died, I went to the hospital. I told my mom, “Let me tell you about yourself. You deserved a great daughter, and you got one. And you liberated me to be one. So if it’s time for you to go, you may have done everything God brought you here to do.

My mother had said to me, “All right, you’ve been raised, so don’t let anybody else raise you. You know the difference between right and wrong. Do right. And remember – you can always come home.” And she continued to liberate me until she died. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes Phenomenal Woman

A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.

Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.

My mother raised me, and then freed me.

My mother is so full of joy and life. I am her child. And that is better than being the child of anyone else in the world.

When teachers or people in authority put me down or in one way or another tried to make me feel less than equal to what they thought I should be – my mother was on my side. It was amazing. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes


We need to remember to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone; at times it is positively to be wished for…..In the silence, we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves to ourselves, and in the quietude, we may even hear the voice of God.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I do hope that young men and women will start to think for themselves and start to take responsibility for their own thoughts.

My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.

If I’m going to a new country, I try to learn something about the language and the culture, so I don’t just go bumbling over things. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Friendship Quotes Maya Angelou
Friendship Quotes Maya Angelou

Each child belongs to all of us and they will bring us a tomorrow in direct relation to the responsibility we have shown to them.

I think we have systematically and critically harmed ourselves and many young people by advising them not to try things.

Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell, we should never teach. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

People feel guilty. And guilt is stymieing. Guilt immobilizes. Guilt closes the air ducts and the veins and makes people ignorant.

If a person – any human being – is told often enough, “You are nothing. You are nothing. You account for nothing. You count for nothing. You are less than a human being. I have no visibility of you”, the person finally begins to believe it.

If you’re in love with your children, you’re in their lives all the time. Leave them alone. Let them grow and make some mistakes. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

If the door has been opened and I’ve been invited, or if I’m not invited and I somehow know I’m supposed to go in there, I put myself together and go in, praying all the while. I try to learn something before I go in. I try to show some respect for the place I’m going into. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.


The most difficult thing in the world, it seems to me, is to realize that I am a child of God; to keep that in my mind all the time. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. So at this wonderful, young age of 65, I don’t know yet what the Lord has for me to do. I try to live up to the energy and to the calling, but I wouldn’t dare say I have even scratched the surface yet. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

Mother Quotes Maya Angelou
Mother Quotes Maya Angelou

Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.

I’m working at trying to be a Christian, and that’s serious business. It’s like trying to be a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Buddhist, a good Shintoist, a good Zoroastrian, a good friend, a good lover, a good mother, a good buddy – it’s serious business. 

While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else is also God’s creation.

God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us – in the dreariest and most dreaded moments – can see a possibility of hope. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes


I wish that we could look into each other’s faces, in each other’s eyes, and see our own selves. I hope that the children have not been so scarred by their upbringing that they only think fear when they see someone else who looks separate from them.

The truth is very important. No matter how negative it is, it is imperative that you learn the truth, not necessarily the facts. I mean, that, that can come, but facts can stand in front of the truth and almost obscure the truth. It is imperative that students learn the truth of our history. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man’s humanity to man.

My equipment tends to be that of a social humanitarian and a poet, which I suppose is the same thing, and I tend to watch how people are. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I believe we are still so innocent. The species are still so innocent that a person who is apt to be murdered believes that the murderer, just before he puts the final wrench on his throat, will have enough compassion to give him one sweet cup of water. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I believe what I have to say is important, and I believe the people coming to hear me are important, and so the occasion of itself alone has importance, which forces me to stare down my nerves.

I pray for humility because that comes from inside out. And what humility does for one, is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come, but who may be here and needs me. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

The root cause of all the problems we have in the world today is ignorance of course. But most, polarization.

My heart is so heavy when I see the reality of the Indian reservation and as an American, I know I am, too, responsible.

I like to speak on matters which matter to human beings, and almost everything matters to human beings

Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully.

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.

People trying to separate people rather than bring us together… please. You don’t just see it in America. It’s all over the world. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

The truth is, right may not be expedient. It may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul.

It is better to control oneself, if one can, and not hit back. But on certain occasions, it is imperative to defend oneself. I don’t think it’s fair to ask anybody not to defend herself or himself. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes


There’s something beautiful about the fact that Obama was not just elected, but elected decisively across racial, and socio-economic and cultural groups and that we all celebrated in his win.

It is imperative that young white men and women study the black American history. It is imperative that blacks and whites study Asian American history. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

The country didn’t get that way in a week; we’ve had years and years of getting behind in our economy. So President Obama stepped into a hellhole and people wanted him to change it as soon as he came in. But he’s got his adversaries to deal with in the House and Senate, so it’s not easy. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes


I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people.

Don’t hesitate to learn the most painful aspects of our history, understand it.

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

I have great respect for the past.

The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don’t know my story.

There are racism and sexism and ageism and all sorts of idiocies. But the bad news is not news. We’ve had bad news as a species for a long time. We’ve had slavery and human sacrifice and the holocaust and brutalities of such measure. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

We are growing up. We are growing up! Out of the idiocies – the ignorances of racism and sexism and ageism and all those ignorances. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

My people couldn’t have survived slavery without having hope that it would get better.

Topmost Maya Angelou Quotes

I’m a descendant of someone bought and sold and brought in 1619 in what was to become the United States.

As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them. 

We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate – thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.


The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste, and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance. ~ Maya Angelou Quotes

I would encourage us all, African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Whites, Native Americans to study history. I long for the time when all human history is taught as one history. I am stronger because you are stronger. I am weaker if you are weak. So we are more alike than we are unlike.


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