When someone as influential as the teacher, mother, poet, author, and humanitarian Dr. Maya Angelou passes away, everyone that has known her, read her work, or heard her speak feels a sense of loss. However, her grace, poise, and passion for equality and human dignity will continue to have a profound impact on future generations to come.
Several years ago, I was fortunate to have met Dr. Angelou through a previous job and had the privilege of eating at her table in her home where she entertained a small group eager young professionals. I not only savored her favorite foods but I savored every word that she spoke. Not a word was wasted in her conversation. She was a woman that commanded great respect without overstating her point. We continued our professional relationship and I was impressed with her ability to remember me each time in spite of all of the people that she dealt with on a daily basis.
When I think of all of the great leaders, men and women, none have impressed me or touched me as much as Dr. Angelou. Her genuine, fun spirit will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life–my work life at Foot Traffic; my family life; and my everyday exchange with friends and strangers. I think that we never forget those that have taught and inspired us, and as we carry a piece of their spirit, they become the good part of ourselves that we hopefully pass on to others.
Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou, for being such a dynamic, intelligent, wonderful, fun woman. As she so beautifully said,
“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.”