Her thoughts are so clear. Her words, profound. Her dialect, simple. And yet, each time she leaves me astound! A woman of great spiritual sagacity – it’s hard not to adore someone like Maya Angelou!
Have you ever come across someone in life and felt like – That’s it, they’ve nailed it. Or have you ever known enough about someone to feel like – Goodness, this one’s truly unravelled the mystery of living a wholesome, fulfilling and happy life? In spite of all our ups and downs, through our challenges and worries, I feel like Maya teaches us all how to live a life well.
Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now (Review)
Each time I read a Maya Angelou book – I feel that all these generations and centuries of our ancestors and now us yearning to find the right key to fit into this big, bold lock of life – I feel like, here… Click! The lock is open, and Maya knew how to do it – Compassionate yet absolutely bold and forthright, she taught me the Power of Gratitude. Unquestionably, a lady with a mind of her own – she called a Spade, A Spade! In every sense, Maya Angelou was REAL. Intelligent and popular – I admire her also because she reminds me so much of the most important person in my life – My Mother. She reminds me of all that my mother stood for – Strength, intelligence, wit and fun, compassion, generosity and yet a balanced and grounded way of living.
Throughout her book – “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now” – Maya aims at bringing to light wisdom that she’s gained over 60 years of existence through nuggets of essays, on an array of subjects ranging from – How humans are more ‘Alike’ than ‘unalike’, to the sweetness of charity, to death and the legacy, to moral rectitude and understanding each other better."I admire @DrMayaAngelou also because she reminds me so much of the most important person in my life – My Mother." Click To Tweet
This book stems buds of lessons and wisdom for somebody and everybody – no matter the age or juncture of life you are in. There’s tremendous depth in her words – and yet the simplicity of it all hits you.
I particularly grew fond of certain lines from each of her essays articulating real-life sentiments. Quoted are some lines below:
1. On her essay on Passport to Understanding – Maya says “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends.” I found this profound.
2. Likewise, the following lines on Living Well. Living Good. is a wake-up call for all of us – She says – “We leave our homes for work, acting and even believing that we will reach our destinations with no unusual event startling us out of our set expectations. The truth is – we know nothing, not where our cars will fail or when our buses will stall, whether our places of employment will be there when we arrive, or whether in fact, we ourselves will arrive whole and alive at the end of our journeys. Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize it, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”
3. On Complaining (apt for all of us in some way or the other), Maya says – “What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing, is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t Complain.” Brutal and much needed, I thought!
4. On a lighter note in her essay on conflicts and learning to let it pass, she states – “Falling into an entanglement with brutes, will usually result in nothing more conclusive than a stimulated nervous system and an upset digestive tract.” Haha… and ah, haven’t we all gone down that road more than once!
These are just a few insightful excerpts from Maya’s book that definitely left me wanting to read anything and everything ever written by her!
So, if you too are looking for some food for thought – something comforting, inspiring and REAL to the very core of it – let “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now” be your retreat this season. And some good news to add to it – For all those intimidated by the sheer width of books, this one is as thin as your floppy disk and can effortlessly be devoured within an hour.
But, don’t say “I didn’t tell you so,” if inevitably and quite ironically – by the end of it, it leaves you wanting for a little more…