Marguerite Johnson, who became known as Maya Angelou was brought into this world on April 4, 1928. And on May 28th, 2014, Maya returned home. Maya Angelou was a beacon of light for the people, shining brightly and inspiring them to find compassion, humanity, forgiveness, and live their best life. To honor her eternal spirit, we are sharing 25 of our favorite Maya Angelou Quotes that will continue to inspire all who reads them.

Shine ON, Maya!

25 Best Maya Angelou Quotes

1. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou

2. 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. – Maya Angelou


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

4. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. – Maya Angelou

5. You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’ – Maya Angelou

6. 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

7. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud – Maya Angelou

8. I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. – Maya Angelou

9. I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I’m praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I’m grateful that I’m heard. – Maya Angelou

10. I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.

11. During bad circumstances, which is the human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not. – Maya Angelou

12. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. – Maya Angelou

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

14. I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.

15. How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! – Maya Angelou

16. I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. – Maya Angelou

17. The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.

18. Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.’ – Maya Angelou

19. Those of us who submitted or surrendered our ideas and dreams and identities to the ‘leaders’ must take back our rights, our identities, our responsibilities. – Maya Angelou

20. The only thing is, people have to develop courage. It is most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtues consistently. – Maya Angelou

21. I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all. – Maya Angelou

22. Don’t let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don’t whine. You can be brought low, that’s OK, but don’t be reduced by them. Just say, ‘That’s life.’ – Maya Angelou

23. When a person is going through hell, and she encounters someone who went through hellish hell and survived, then she can say, ‘Mine is not so bad as all that. She came through, and so can I.’ – Maya Angelou

24. All of us knows, not what is expedient, not what is going to make us popular, not what the policy is, or the company policy – but in truth each of us knows what is the right thing to do. And that’s how I am guided. – Maya Angelou

25. In all my work, I try to say – ‘You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?’ – Maya Angelou


Shine On!

Please add to this tribute with your favorite Maya Angelou quotes in a comment below. 

Shine ON Maya, you have risen for the people, and your spirit will forever be remembered by everyone here, and all over the world.