Word Warrior

She thought her words had power.  And they did.

“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” — Charles Dickens

“There is the danger of the single story.” —  Chimamanda Adichie

But no one could accuse Maya of a single story: she is a natural storyteller…  And a Word Warrior.

Maya Angelou: In Memoriam
Maya Angelou, Teacher Idealist, born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than 50 years. She received dozens of awards and over 30 honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen and brought her international recognition and acclaim. [Wikipedia, revised]
She was a natural Teacher: a Mentor.  When she gained wisdom from her early hard scrabble life experience, she passed on it in her storytelling for others benefit.  She had many storys to tell.
Oprah Winfrey considered Maya as her number one mentor.  In remembering her friend, Winfrey called Angelou a “mentor, mother/sister” Oprah been “blessed” to have known “since my 20s.” “She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. When you learn, teach. When you get, give  is one of my best lessons from her,” said Winfrey in remembering Angelou.

“She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds,” added Winfrey.
 In some Teachers, this ability to fire the imagination can amount to a kind of genius which other types find hard to emulate. But perhaps their greatest strength lies in their belief in their students. Teachers look for the best in their students, and communicate clearly that each one has untold potential, and this confidence can inspire their students to grow and develop more than they ever thought possible. [Please Understand Me II]
“At the age of eight, while living with her mother, Angelou was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend, a man named Freeman. She told her brother, who told the rest of their family. Freeman was found guilty but was jailed for only one day. Four days after his release, he was murdered, probably by Angelou’s uncles.  Angelou became mute for almost five years, believing, as she stated, “I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone …” According to Marcia Ann Gillespie and her colleagues, who wrote a biography about Angelou, it was during this period of silence when Angelou developed her extraordinary memory, her love for books and literature, and her ability to listen and observe the world around her.”

Improved action, whether instrumental or interpersonal, has to be beckoned forth, led out of its hiding place so to speak, or, as inherent in the word educator, it has to be educed by an individual skilled in drawing out potentials. In this interaction the Diplomatic Initiators [Teacher Idealists] have an edge over all others, including the other Idealists. They seem uncannily able to influence those who seek to improve what they say and do at work. [Personology]

“Maya Angelou was an indomitable spirit of great generosity, kindness, and love. Her work, both written and spoken, has inspired, and actually helped, the lives of millions. When I think of tribute, I envision Maya as a kind of General of Compassion, offering an army of words of encouragement. She was special, she was rare, she was more beautiful than perhaps even she realised, because she was, among other things, such an artist, that she could not only create worlds on paper, or in a listener’s imagination, but she also managed, over and over again in her long life, to create and recreate herself.”  — Alice Walker
A couple warrior words from Maya:
In order to get a friend, you have to be a friend.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
“If a human being dares to dream a great dream, dares to love somebody, dares to be Martin King, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Mother Teresa, or Malcolm X. If a human being dares to be bigger than the condition in which she or he was born, it means so can you.
“There’s a place in you that you must keep inviolate. You must keep it pristine, clean, so that nobody has the right to curse you, or treat you badly.”
“Life is life, and death is death, so I must tell the truth when I speak.”
“Nothing will work unless you do.”
A Teacher
Word Warriors
upper left: Maya Angelou, author, poet, professor; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
lower left: William Shakespeare, playwright, poet; Hamlet
center: Charles Dickens, [Champion, Idealist] author, speaker; David Copperfield 
lower right: James Baldwin, author, poet; Notes of a Native Son
upper middle right: Martin Luther King, Jr.,[Champion, Idealist] speaker, writer: Letters from a Birmingham Jail.
lower middle right: Malcolm X: [Crafter Artisan] speaker, writer, author; Autobiography of Malcolm X
upper right: Chinua Achebe: author, poet, professor; Things Fall Apart
lower middle left: Oprah Winfrey:[Teacher Idealist] interviewer, educator, media owner; Oprah’s Master Class
upper middle left: Chimamanda Adichie: author, lecturer; The Danger of a Single Story

Other Teacher Idealists include: Chiune SugiharaZiauddin Yousafzai, Ralph NaderMikhail GorbachevStephen CoveyJane Fonda

One thought on “Word Warrior”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *