By Lonnie Dawkins
Today we remember Maya Angelou who spoke so many words of wisdom. She affected us all in many ways. I was there in 2008 when she received the Lincoln Medal at Ford’s Theatre and I read many of her books and writings. Had she just been a writer, dancer, actor, professor, film director, or author, she still would still would have been phenomenal. This woman was wise and important to me.
She was for peace and wanted people to get alone. There is one conversation that she had with Oprah Winfrey years ago that stays in my mind. She was on Oprah’s tv show and the points she made I put to use and try to share with others. They were about getting along and not letting others affect you negatively.
During the interview she talked about a lot of things but these are two tidbits I will always remember. I may not be remembering them correctly but they have helped me negotiate my way.
1) “I’m not in it.”
When people are talking about you and trying to verbally do you harm, just say “I’m not in it”. That’s what those people are doing. Don’t get caught up in their foolishness. Keep on doing what you are supposed to be doing and let them talk or do whatever they are doing. You can’t stop people from talking about you so don’t let them upset you.
2) “No, I can’t take a joke”.
Watch when people want to make fun of you, call you out of your name, say unpleasant things to you, etc. When you call them on it and they say that they were just kidding and ask “Can’t you take a joke?”, you should reply “No, I can’t take a joke, stop it!” She said they are trying to kill you. I know she didn’t mean that they were actually trying to kill you but that they are trying to slowly pull you down.
Two simple parcels of wisdom that I learned from Dr. Maya Angelou that I will always remember.
Thank you Dr. Angelou. Rest in peace.
I know we all have special memories and words of wisdom from Dr. Angelou. What are yours?