Thoughtful Thursday: Portrait of Resilience


Poet. Author. Dancer. Singer. Activist. Educator. Mother.

The death of Maya Angelou brought tributes and remembrances from around the world. Of all the accomplishments from her incredible life, I most admire Ms. Angelou’s resilience. No matter what peril, disappointment, slight or hurt that ever came her way, Ms. Angelou picked herself up and moved forward. She didn’t wait for others to come to her rescue. She was the rescue team. Often, she was a team of one.

She was determined not to let the trials and tribulations define her life. Ms. Angelou marched ahead, knowing that she was the one who would write her life’s story. The educator defined how her life would be remembered. And what a life it was — in large part because of her resilience.

Resilience isn’t a trait you discover that you had after you survived trauma or tragedy. Resilience is what took through that trauma and tragedy when you endured seconds, minutes, hours, days and months of heart break and sadness. Resilience lived in a place you didn’t know existed. Resilience is what took over when the pain robbed you of your good sense and hope, and resilience dragged you over the mountain that seemed too steep to face.

We can find strength in these words from Ms. Angelou: “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

Life will go on without this great voice, but it won’t be the same.





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