People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That sounds goody two-shoes, I know, but I believe that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure and time. Less time is crystal. Less than that is coal. Less than that is fossilized leaves. Less than that it's just plain dirt. In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats -- maybe it's imperative that we encounter the defeats -- but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be.
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good Morning' at total strangers.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.
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.
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.
The children to whom we read simple stories may or may not show gratitude, but each boon we give strengthens the pillars of the world.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away,.
Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway.
The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
The breezes of the West African night were intimate and shy, licking the hair, sweeping through cotton dresses with unseemly intimacy, then disappearing into the utter blackness.
I love living. I love that I'm alive to love my age. There are many people who went to bed just as I did yesterday evening and didn't wake up this morning. I love and feel very blessed that I did.
As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
The love of the family, the love of the person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.
Here on the pulse of this new day, You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, into Your brother's face, your country And say simply, Very simply, With hope, Good Morning.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.
You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn't do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you.
I was very blessed to have family and friends, but particularly family, who told me I was not only all right, I was just right, so I believe that my brain is a good one, and it's lasting me very well.
Shakespeare -- I was very influenced -- still am -- by Shakespeare. I couldn't believe that a white man in the 16th century could so know my heart.
Living in a state of terror was new to many white people in America, but black people have been living in a state of terror in this country for more than 400 years.
The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.
The city became for me the ideal of what I wanted to be as a grown-up. Friendly, but never gushing, cool but not frigid or distant, distinguished without the awful stiffness.
Take a month and show some kindness for the folks who thought that blindness was an illness that affected eyes alone.
I'm very blessed that I have a healthy temper. I can become quite angry and burning in anger, but I have never been bitter. Bitterness is a corrosive, terrible acid. It just eats you and makes you sick.
There is something more -- the spirit, or the soul. I think that that quality encourages our courtesy and care and our minds. And mercy, and identity.
I was told many years ago by my grandmother who raised me: If somebody puts you on a road and you don't feel comfortable on it and you look ahead and you don't like the destination and you look behind and you don't want to return to that place, step off the road.
The thorn from the bush one has planted, nourished and pruned pricks more deeply and draws more blood.
If you're a human being, you can attempt to do what other human beings have done. We don't understand talent any more than we understand electricity.
I knew I was given to dramatic overstatement, or was known to waffle about repetitiously. To further complicate matters, I was sincere. Sincerity badly stated elicits mistrust.
She was our mother and belonged to us. She was never mentioned to anyone because we simply didn't have enough of her to share.
Modesty is a learned affectation. It's no good. Humility is great, because humility says, 'There was someone before me. I'm following in somebody's footsteps.'
I answer the heroic question, Death, where is thy sting? with It is in my heart and mind and memories.
Whenever I'm around some who is modest, I think, 'Run like hell and all of fire.' You don't want modesty, you want humility.
It's very hard for adults to maintain respect and romance so that a love affair can be sustained over years.
Not everything you do is going to be a masterpiece, but you get art there and you try and sometimes it really happens. The other times you're just stretching your soul.
I believe everything is energy. I believe that the meal you serve yourself, you prepare, is energy. And if you serve it to your family, it's your gift of energy to them.
I am convinced that words are things, and we simply don't have the machinery to measure what they are. I believe that words are tangible things.
Though I do manage to mumble around in about seven or eight languages, English remains the most beautiful of languages. It will do anything.
You may not remember what a person said to you, you may not remember what a person did to you, but you will never forget how a person made you feel!
I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine ... before she realizes she's reading.
I learned to love my son without wanting to possess him and I learned how to teach him to teach himself.
I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defence when and wherever needed.
I want to be representative of my race-the human race. I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be.
I married a man once and we had been married over a year before I found he preferred potatoes. I said, I didn't know you loved potatoes. And he said that until he was about 13, he thought rice was potato seeds.
Love liberates. Love -- not sentimentality, not mush -- but true love gives you enough courage that you can say to somebody, Don't do that, baby. And the person will know you're not preaching but teaching.
There is a shock that comes so quickly and strikes so deep that the blow is internalized even before then skin feels it. The strike must first reach bone marrow, then ascend slowly to the brain where the slowpoke intellect records the deed.
Upon reflection, I marvel that no one saw through me enough to bundle me off to the nearest mental institution. The fact that it didn't happen depended less on my being a good actress than the fact that I was surrounded, as I had been all my life, by strangers.
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 it is true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, isn't it also true a society is only as healthy as its sickest citizen and only as wealthy as its most deprived?
Those who have something to say accept the fact that that's lonely. One already knows that there will be adversaries.
The Black child must learn early to allow laughter to fill his mouth or the million small cruelties he encounters will congeal and clog his throat.
As a Black American woman, I could not sit with easy hands and an impassive face and have my future planned. Life in my country had demanded that I act for myself or face terrible consequences.
Sister, in this country a Negro is always about to get killed, so that ain't nothing. But you tell your husband that a black man was ready to lay down his life for you. That's all.
I know that one of the great arts that the writer develops is the art of saying, 'No. No, I'm finished. Bye.' And leaving it alone. I will not write it into the ground. I will not write the life out of it. I won't do that.
If the pretties were expected to make the supreme sacrifice in order to 'belong,' what could the unattractive female do?
Courage, I don't think anybody is born with courage. I think you may be born with a flair to braggadocio, you know. That's not courage.
Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors are mysterious apparitions who come, go, and do strange unfathomable thing in and around the child, the region's only enfranchised citizen.
Love builds up the broken wall and straightens the crooked path. Love keeps the stars in the firmament and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides. Each of us is created of it and I suspect each of us was created for it.
The black kids, the poor white kids, Spanish-speaking kids, and Asian kids in the US -- in the face of everything to the contrary, they still bop and bump, shout and go to school somehow. Their optimism gives me hope.
The whites were really brutishly ignorant, blitheringly, so they killed people sometimes -- just came into the African-American community and maimed people because they didn't agree with God's choice for the colors of the people's skin.
To be angry is very good. It burns out things and leaves nutrients in the soil. You should always be ready to be angry at injustice and cruelty.
Martin Luther King was a human being with a brilliant mind, a powerful heart, and insight, and courage and also with a sense of humor. So he was accessible.
Love is a condition so powerful; it may be that which pulls the stars in the firmament. It may be that which pushes and urges the blood in the veins. Courage: you have to have courage to love somebody because you risk everything-ever ything.
I think I know that I deserve better. And so I try for better. I'm never so put off that I would ever walk out of a place not having tried the best I could.
I am serious, so I laugh a lot. You need to laugh. You don't laugh enough. I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh.
It's a wonderful thing to know that there is something to know there is something greater than I am, and that is God itself.
Education is a process that goes on 'til death. The moment you see someone who knows she has found the one true way, and can call all the others false, then you know you're in the company of an ignoramus.
After all, girls have to giggle, and after being a woman for theee years I was about to become a girl.
Listen to some good poetry. You see? It keeps us from thinking we are only what our blatant appetites describe us as.
My hope is that we develop enough courage to develop courage. To try to have, try to learn to treat each other fairly, with generosity and kindness.
You forgive yourself for every failure because you are trying to do the right thing. God knows that and you know it. Nobody else may know it.
You are very kind and very intelligent and those elements are not always found together. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, and my mother -- yes, you belong in that category. Here, give me a kiss.
And one of my absolute favorite quotes of all-time, one that I've adopted as one of my greatest life mottos: Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I'm with you kid. Let's go.
I love the song 'I Hope You Dance' by Lee Ann Womack. I was going to write that song, but someone beat me to it.
Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity.
The needs of a society determine its ethics.
The needs of a society determine its ethics, and in the Black American ghettos the hero is that man who is offered only the crumbs from his country's table but by ingenuity and courage is able to take for himself a Lucullan feast. Hence the janitor who lives in one room but sports a robin's-egg-blue Cadillac is not laughed at but admired, and the domestic who buys forty-dollar shoes is not criticized but is appreciated. We know that they have put to use their full mental and physical powers. Each single gain feeds into the gains of the body collective.
In Stamps the segregation was so complete that most Black children didn't really, absolutely know what whites looked like.
Difficult is a far cry from impossible. The distance between these two lies hope. Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Invite one to stay.
It's amazing. I can do anything. And do it well. Any good thing, I can do it. That's why I am who I am, yes, because God loves me and I'm amazed at it. I'm grateful for it.
My mother's gifts of courage to me were both large and small. The latter are woven so subtly into the fabric of my psyche that I can hardly distinguish where she stops and I begin.
I looked up the way I was going and back the way I come and since I wasn't satisfied I stepped off and found me a new path.
Reality has changed chameleonlike before my eyes so many times that I have learned, or am learning, to trust almost anything except what appears to be so.
I made the decision to quit show business. Give up the skintight dresses and manicured smiles. The false concern over sentimental lyrics. I would never again work to make people smile inanely and would take on the responsibility of making them think.
To be allowed, no, invited into the private lives of strangers, and to share their joys and fears, was a chance to exchange the Southern bitter wormwood for a cup of mead with Beowulf or a hot cup of tea and milk with Oliver Twist.
You dwell in whitened castles with deep and poisoned moats and cannot hear the curses which fill your children's throats.
Never, never let a person know you're frightened. And a group of them ... absolutely never. Fear brings out the worst in everybody.
Money and power can liberate only if they are used to do so. They can imprison and inhibit more finally than barred windows and iron chains.
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a woman called by a devaluing name will only be weakened by the misnomer.
It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.
It was the awakening summer of 1960 and the entire country was in labor. Something wonderful was about to be born, and we were all going to be good parents to the welcome child. Its name was Freedom.
In all the institutions I try to be present and accountable for all I do and leave undone. I know that eventually I shall have to be present and accountable n the presence of God. I do not wish to be found wanting.
I believe that quality level is determined primarily by the actual design of the product itself, not by quality control in the production process.
Have a purpose to your life: Purpose does not mean having a job...You can have a job and still be unfulfilled.
We must infuse our lives with art. Our national leaders must be informed that we want them to use our taxes to support street theatre in order to oppose street gangs. We should have a well-supported regional theatre in order to oppose regionalism and.
Depending on who I am talking about or who's talking through me -- if the person is a kind of hip-hop, or rhythm and blues person, or if the person is a kind of old-fashion gothic, meaning gothic attitude, then that will determine what form the poem will take.
I might have it at six-fifteen a.m. just as soon as I get in, but usually it's about eleven o'clock when I'll have a glass of sherry.
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.
Sunday, if I'm lucky, I'll go to church or listen to some good spiritual advice on the television or on the radio. I take three or four baths to try to cleanse myself, so I'm fresh for Monday.
And I not only have the right to stand up for myself, but I have the responsibility. I can't ask somebody else to stand up for me if I won't stand up for myself. And once you stand up for yourself, you'd be surprised that people say, Can I be of help?
He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education, and even more amazing no superiority complex because he had succeeded despite that lack.
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.
If somebody is really trying to take your head off with a baseball bat -- I don't know how long you're supposed to stand there and turn the other cheek, so he or she can get a better angle at taking your head off.
I had read a Tale of Two Cities and found it up to my standards as a romantic novel. She opened the first page and I heard poetry for the first time in my life...her voice slid in and curved down trough and over the words. She was nearly singing.
The only way you can be a mark is if you want something for nothing. If you're greedy, you're set up.
Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.