Maya Angelou - March 28,2008 7:30 PM St. Sabina African American Speaking Series
Credit: Saint Sabina Photos via Flickr

Note: Because my new e-course is a huge undertaking, I don’t have as much time to dedicate to writing original daily blog posts. So, over the next few weeks I’ll periodically share some retro posts from past years – ones I think are worth a second go-around! The following post first appeared here on February 10, 2009; still gives me goosebumps to read her sage advice. 

I just ran across the transcript of a {radio} interview I did with Maya Angelou in the mid ’90s. I didn’t have children then, but I do now. So her words and wisdom are even more meaningful to me today. Here’s an excerpt of what she shared with me:

“Children need to see themselves as quite valuable. But sometimes they find it hard to do when people in this society are not complimentary. Find a story. Find a story for yourself, about yourself, and make yourself the star of the story. I would encourage every child to make up a story about yourself. And then put yourself into some other place like China, like Japan, like West Africa. Like Israel, like Saudi Arabia, like Egypt. 
“Make this story about yourself as the valuable boy wonder, the valuable girl wonder who overcomes! And continue to write your story in your own head and in your own heart. {Children} see themselves as triumphant, as surviving. Then they see themselves among other people who may not look like them. And they begin to understand that human beings are more alike than we are un-alike. And that’s something that will take them throughout this world. That is good information for them so that they will be able to say, ‘I am one with the global population.'”