Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights advocate, dies at 86

Today we lost a great person, a wise elder and a phenomenal woman. I heard the news this morning, of course from an alert on my phone. Immediately I had to pull myself together, because it made me sad. Her wisdom, her spirit and her humor… I felt like I lost a grandmother. I’ve learned so much from her and when you appreciate someone’s wisdom, you feel like you know that person. Dr. Angelou contributed so much to the empowerment of self and the empowerment of women as a whole. My first memory of her was hearing the poem “Phenomenal Woman”, my own grandmother had “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” on her bookshelf. Dr. Angelou has touched a lot of people’s lives. From all of the knowledge I learned from Dr. Angelou, the one piece of advice that resonated with me the most is: “When people show you who they are, believe them. They know themselves better than you.” I heard that and when you gain a nugget of knowledge from anyone you respect, it doesn’t work until you apply it. I apply this knowledge in everything I do. I allow people to show me who they are. I don’t try to change a person, I take them for who they are and what they show me. Here is an old blog entry I posted when I learned this life lesson: http://iamericakelley.com/?p=2266  Another thing that I’ve learned from her is that people will always remember how you made them feel. I have a personal daily goal and I don’t share it with many people. But it’s to empower at least one person a day. To leave someone with the feeling of empowerment that they are able to do whatever it is they want to do. So today we lost a great one. But luckily she was empowered by someone and within herself to leave her mark on the world that cannot be erased. Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou for leaving your mark. Here last Tweet to her followers: listen       Grateful,