“Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness”: According to Dr. Maya Angelou
(Initially I jumped into my essay without an introduction. Since, I have decided to explain that Dr. Maya Angelou is one of my heroes. She is a barometer for my life and every once in a while I catch a glimpse of her as I round the corner. This essay is a regurgitation of my internalization of what I hear when she addresses the world.)
Life should be held onto fearlessly, for fear hinders us from living to our greatest capacity. A full life must consist of love and all the duality that comes with it: loss and gain, highs and lows, freedom and limitations, education and ignorance, trust and mistrust, religion and science, etc. Gathering an understanding of what it is to be human and be alive is a lifetime of work; which, once delved into with conviction, promises to result in amazement and wonder. That is to say travel, education, food and passion should yield constant high-quality entertainment worthy of you. The last piece of the puzzle is discovering and doing what you are meant to do. Luckily you can make and act on a concrete decision more than once. Your life’s work will produce itself as a manifestation of your legacy. Therefore, life is only sad when one allows it to be undermines by greed, boredom and/or fear. Thus, Live.
Love can and needs to be found throughout a lifetime. Love can be felt repeatedly, while still feeling completely brand new. The fact is love happens in moment. In one moment you find and feel love pulse through your consciousness, and the next it starts to fade. Dear heart, please, do not be discouraged. Imagine, if you will, telephone poles. The poles being love and its bright, high moments. It is your job to discover ways to make those peaks rise frequently. It is your task to be the wire connecting you and your love with as much as possible, as often as possible. Love can be sustained through family, friends, powerful moments and meaningful surroundings. Over the last 5 decades, the fundamental foundation of the Black family structure has been rocked and led awry. This has affected how we learn, love, live and thrive. It is clearly our responsibility as survivors to reach down and pull up those who want to be saved. Love is the key to elevating ourselves from simply surviving to thriving. Thus, Love.
In seeking love and living life, one has chosen to throw caution to the wind and pursue happiness. Collectively, we have consciously and unconsciously come to understand that we must be twice or even three times better than the rest. This is the long way of saying, No one said it was going to be easy. If it is easy to attain, is it worth it? With this understanding and drive deeply rooted in our history, we possess the instruments to create greatness. When we are being honest, anything short of greatness Is Not Good Enough. Happiness spontaneously appears when we set a goal for ourselves and cross the finish line. When we say to ourselves, This is what I am going to do, and I dare whoever to tell me otherwise. Luckily, we – as individuals – are our worst enemies. Once we accept that greatness is what we are capable of, greatness is all there is. Thus, Pursue Happiness.
Dr. Maya Angelou is a Master of words, a force and an idea. Through her life and work she has articulated the above sentiments. Her decision to never stop evolving has impacted the African American community and the world in a fashion unmatched by any woman of our time. She has given us a thorough examination of the human condition and challenges us to rise to the occasion – an occasion engulfed in seemingly insurmountable adversity. Dr. Angelou reminds us of who we are, what cloth we are made of and how far we have come. She looks us in the eye and dares us to let her down. She opens her arms and heart and takes in every one of us as her own and, again, dares you to deny her. Dr. Angelou has set the bar and forces us to create a magnificent future for ourselves and our descendants. She is a triumphant and phenomenal example of how mastering your craft is the key to success. And she is the proof of what we are capable of should we choose to accept it. Dr. Maya. Angelou. Embodies and Exudes Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Her message is simply: Do. Love. Do. Live. Do. Pursue. Be. Live. Love. Find your happiness. Persist. Rise. Learn. Live. Love. Grow. Be happy. Rise! Prevail. Work. Work. Work. Do More. EAT. Drink! RISE! Live. Love. And Please Pursue Happiness.
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