How many times have you met a person again, after a long time not seeing them, and you think by yourself: “I have no clue what we talked about, but I do remember this person making me feel really uncomfortable”, or “this person humiliated me”, or “I was very down that day for whatever reason, and this person really encouraged me…”
Very often we remember how we felt in a person’s presence, and how friendly (or rude) that person was.
We might remember a face, and we might remember a feeling, but we might not remember words…
Sometimes we remember actions…
But not always are our experiences good with people, not always do we feel right about their words, their actions, and how they make us feel.
How do you think, bullied people feel when they see someone who has given them a horrible time when they were younger? In particular at a certain age, when we’re still ‘becoming’, we are particularly sensitive to outside influence…
The tragedy and drama that we can experience when we’re within a certain time frame of our lives can make us remember other people in a way that sours our entire young adulthood until the present day.
I belong to those people who seem to be bullying victims wherever I go. It started at a very young age in school, until I learned how to defend myself.
It re-started in high school, again, until I finally defended myself.
And again, during my adulthood in several jobs bullying was almost common for me…
But there were a few people who always had a good word for me, encouraging, empowering, helpful, supportive, and caring. And these are the people who are still in my memory, the ones who made me feel good, valuable, happy, and proud of myself.
The others arent’ important anymore… but the positive people are vivid, in my memory, and in my heart!
Maya Angelou (Marguerite Annie Johnson) April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary 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 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
She became a poet and writer after a string of odd jobs during her young adulthood. These included fry cook, sex worker, nightclub performer, Porgy and Bess cast member, Southern Christian Leadership Conference coordinator, and correspondent in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was also an actress, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. In 1982, she was named the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made approximately 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993) at the first inauguration of Bill Clinton, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.
With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson for Black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of Black culture. Her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide, although attempts have been made to ban her books from some U.S. libraries. Angelou’s most celebrated works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics consider them to be autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes including racism, identity, family and travel.
Angelou died on the morning of May 28, 2014, at the age 86. She was found by her nurse. Although Angelou had reportedly been in poor health and had canceled recent scheduled appearances, she was working on another book, an autobiography about her experiences with national and world leaders. During her memorial service at Wake Forest University, her son Guy Johnson stated that despite being in constant pain due to her dancing career and respiratory failure, she wrote four books during the last ten years of her life. He said, “She left this mortal plane with no loss of acuity and no loss in comprehension.” (Source: Wikipedia.com)