maya angelou on what people never forget

Every Wednesday I share another’s words of wisdom, and I explore how I can apply this wisdom to my own life. Please join in the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments section. Because if you’re anything like me, you have a lot to learn in this life. 

 I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

~ Maya Angelou

The best part? It doesn’t take much to make other people feel good. Kind words, a warm squeeze, sincere interest. And when you make others feel good, truly good, their light illuminates both of you, and you are standing in a field of grace.

Children are beautifully simple creatures and the easiest to make feel good. All they want is our positive attention. I may be trying to email or fold laundry or clean up something (because something always needs to be cleaned around here) or even make them a snack, but the kids don’t care. They’re not hungry anymore, they just want me to sit on the ground and hoist them into the air with my legs.

I am always “busy” because productivity makes me feel “good.” But it’s not a feeling deep enough to be lasting, it needs to be replenished all the time. Its an addiction to keep checking off items from the proverbial to do list (I don’t keep a physical list anymore, which may or may not be a good thing). Do more, be more, have more.

At the end of the day, whether or not there are dirty dishes in the sink, I go to bed happy if I spent quality time with my loved ones, if I connected with family or friends or even strangers. I go to bed happiest if I know my daughter and my stepson and my husband are happy. The children won’t remember a lot about this time in their lives, but they will remember how they felt. I can make them feel good. It’s not that hard, it’s a matter of tickling and reading stories and being present.

It’s all about relationships, isn’t it? We don’t need to gossip to connect, we only need to show interest in another person’s intricacies. We don’t need to give fancy Christmas presents to everyone we know, we only need to give our true love and whole attention.

Perhaps the meaning of life is not to accomplish anything, it is to lie on the ground and bask in the light.

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