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MAYA ANGELOU: A Wise Message

Dr. Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a remarkable
poet, educator, historian,
best-selling author,
civil-rights activist,
producer and director
Interviewed by Oprah Winfrey
on her famous TV show,
these were her wise words.


"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. 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've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. 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. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. 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."

We thank Dr. Mirta Nuñez (Argentina) for her nice contribution and invite you
to visit her website Familia y Planificación at


playwright: a dramatist, someone who writes plays (dramaturga)
no matter what: in spite of all obstacles
(a pesar de los contratiempos)
does go on: (emphatic use) really continues (realmente sigue)
by the way she/he handles: by her/his behaviour about (por su comportamiento en
lo que respecta a)
lost luggage: suitcases not easily found (equipaje extraviado)
tangled: in a confused mass (enroscadas, enredadas)
regardless of: in spite of (a pesar de)

catcher's mitt: glove used by baseball players (guante de béisbol);
whenever: every time that (cada vez que)
with an open heart: freely, in a generous way (abiertamente, con generosidad)
pains: physical disorders (dolores)
to be one = to be a pain: to be a bothersome annoying person (persona molesta)
should reach out: should extend your hands (deberías extender tus manos)
hug: embrace (abrazo)
pat: a light touch with your hand (palmada)
how you made them feel: how they felt after your behaviour (cómo los hiciste sentir