At the end of my weekly column, I always offer quotes, something I’ve been doing since 1999 when I wrote my very first column.
I can’t tell you how many times people have stopped me in the last 19 years to tell me how much they love reading the quotes.
What I’ve strived to do over the years is to not repeat quotes. Do the math — 52 columns per year, times three quotes per week, times 19 is nearly 3,000 quotes.
I’ve had fun adding the quotes and, on some occasions, I’ve added a quote or two related to what I’ve written for the week.
Here’s a secret: often times if something is bothering me, I may throw a quote it to reflect my mood or situation. A second secret is, I may tailor a quote to a particular person, friend or foe. For example, if somebody did something nice for me during the week, I may add a quote of thanks aimed at him or her.
Only I know for whom the quote is meant. Oftentimes, I’ve wondered while someone was reading the quotes, if they know it was meant for he or she.
Actually, this week’s first quote by Nick Vujicic is applicable to Stephanie Jallen, our own Paralympian, who will head off to PyeongChang, South Korea to compete in her second Paralympic Games in just a few short weeks.
I like to add quotes involving love. After all, doesn’t love make the world go around?
One of my favorite authors is the late Dr. Leo Buscaglia. Dr. Buscaglia was widely known as Dr. Love and he reached his popularity in the 1980s and 1990s when he hit the lecture circuit. Naturally, his lecture theme was always about love. He would express the importance of love of family, love of a partner and love of God.
Dr. Buscaglia was well known during the once-popular Marriage Encounter movement. His delivery was second to none. I’ve always enjoyed watching his lectures because I could relate to his Italian heritage he often mentioned in his speeches. He also often spoke of his mother during his lectures.
Dr. Buscaglia passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack in 1998 at the age of 73.
Another author I quote fairly often is the late Dr. Maya Angelou, once considered America’s poet laureate.
Dr. Angelou had a particularly unique life with miles and miles of experiences. She died in 2014 at the age of 86.
Since February is Black History month, it’s appropriate to pay homage to Maya Angelou.
Dr. Angelou lived 86 years and those years were jam-packed with writing books, poems, actor, singer, director, being a civil rights activist and much more.
She worked with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and, in 1993, she recited her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, making her only the second poet since Robert Frost’s recital at President Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961.
Over her lifetime, she had friendships with national and international leaders, including Nelson Mandela.
Angelou received more than 50 honorary degrees and dozens of awards during her lifetime.
She wrote seven autobiographies about her childhood into her early adult years. She also wrote three books of essays, many books of poems as well as plays and screen plays for movies and television.
In her adult life, she studied French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the Western African language Fanti, which, coincidentally enough, was my mother’s maiden name.
In 2011, Angelou received the United States’ highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to her by President Obama.
I could sit for hours listening to her delivery. Last week, I mentioned how distinct Walter Cronkite’s voice was. So, too, was Angelou’s. I particularly liked when she pronounced the word poem. It’s like she gave it two syllables, po-em. Her annunciation was perfection.
I always enjoyed when she appeared on a talk show or if someone had done a documentary about her. She always seemed so sure of herself, so wise with so many stories. Her mind was sharp as a tack right to the very end.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her when she recited one of her poems and would actually get chills during her delivery.
Lately, Phoenix University has been using an excerpt from her poem, “Still I Rise” as a part of its television commercial.
“Still I Rise” is a poem she wrote in 1978 about self-respect and confidence. No matter what was thrown at her, she would overcome anything and not tarnish her self-esteem.
I miss her strength, her wisdom and her strong female presence. There will never be another Maya Angelou; she truly was a national treasure.
In any case, the quotes are not going away too soon. I enjoy finding a good quote as much as some of you like reading them. Factor in the method to my madness as to why I added the quote I chose and it’s even more fun.
Quote of the week
“If you can’t get a miracle – become one.” – Nick Vujicic, Australian motivational speaker
Thought of the week
“It is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin, English author
“Our opportunities to do good are our talents.” – Cotton Mather, American author