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Posts Tagged ‘Maya Angelou’

Join me in celebrating Women’s Month: Take a moment to enjoy Maya Angelou’s words and lovely image, taken last month when President Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

As we celebrate women, here are 4 things we can do for ourselves and others—today and every day.

Show up. This is the first and most essential aspect of taking charge of your life… and influencing the lives of others. Be there. Presence makes a difference. And full presence—spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental—makes all the difference.

Speak up. As women, most of know the pain of being seen but not heard. As an African-American woman, sometimes the pain is double. But I don’t let that get me down. If I did, some days I’d wouldn’t get up! When women speak, we add our uniqueness and offer diversity that would otherwise be missing and missed.

Stand up. Find someone or something—a place, a cause, an idea—that you care about so passionately and so deeply that you will take a stand for it… and you can and will talk about it with anyone, anywhere, without apologies or regrets.

Lift up. We were made to love and honor one another. How will you celebrate someone and lift them up today and every day?

Pass It On!

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What do Maya Angelou, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, and William Faulkner have in common?

Each of them took a stand for what they believed and changed history by doing so. Each stood up for their own or others’ rights during times when the society around them said, “No, you can’t do that.” They all dared to wear their soul on the outside.

Maya Angelou wrote the first in her series of books about her life–finding the beauty and majesty of her own voice as a woman, poet, and social artist; Lincoln stood against slavery and pulled together a team of unlikely rivals to maintain the integrity of the United States when it all the forces seemed to want to tear it apart. Nelson Mandela stood against apartheid in South Africa, spent almost 30 years in prison, and emerged to an instrument for a new social order. William Faulkner stood against racism in the American South and helped my father, Earnest McEwen, Jr., and other Blacks, get equal access to higher education.

When you find your passion and calling, you too can stand against those around you who tell you “no,” who may discourage you, who lack faith in you. You, too, can say “Yes, I Dared and I Did It!”

Who influenced you and helped you find your passion and calling? How are you using the power of your passion to stand for what you believe in and to be of service to others?

I’m collecting new stories about ordinary people who take a stand for what they believe. I’d love to hear from you. Please share one of your “Yes, I Dared and I Did It!” stories with me and forward this post to others so they can share one of their stories, too.

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