The passing of Maya Angelou is on everyone’s mind today~ many have been thinking of their favorite books of hers, or poems, or quotes, all of which inspire. Her biography alone is a testament to someone who used her time, her gifts and opportunities to bring forth beauty instead of someone who complained, though she had endured much. I remember finishing a book of hers on an airplane back when I was in college, and since there wasn’t much else to do I read through her enclosed biography and was completely astonished that one person could accomplish so much in a lifetime. I remember thinking she probably didn’t watch much t.v.~ no time! I guess that is why I have that connection in my head even to this day, people who live a life full of, well, life, aren’t big t.v. watchers. It scares me how we have become such an entertainment-crazed world, even more than when I was young, and it just keeps increasing. When I lived in Prague my flat-mate went home to Canada during that year and was so excited to see her multitude of friends to share what living in Prague was like. When she got back, she said she’d had fun at home but I could tell something was wrong. It didn’t take long before she admitted she had been disappointed by the lack of curiosity her various groups of friends showed about her life abroad. She had imagined questions about where she lived, what her work was like, what she ate, what had she learned of the language, and instead all anyone wanted to talk about was Survivor. It was a new show then and the whole reality show concept was fairly new so it’s understandable, kind of, that people were excited about it, but the disconnect that here my roommate was actually living something out, daring and unique (she turned 21 the year we lived in Prague together so we’re talking about quite young people) who could have told interesting stories about her real life, the real life of someone they love, but instead they chose to discuss a t.v. show just to me says it all. They weren’t trying to be rude~ and that’s the sad part. T.V. was just on the forefront of their brains. I’m not saying t.v. is awful and everyone should boycott it, but I am saying we could all use reminders to be mindful of how we spend our time. Maya Angelou’s writings and even more so, her life, is just the thing to remind us of that. We only have a limited amount of time, how do you want to spend it? Thank you, Dr. Angelou, for your gifts, your inspiration and accomplishments, which even on your day of passing, you still give, and will no doubt keep giving for generations to come.
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