Friday, August 13, 2010

Maya Angelou's Wisdom

I mentioned this on facebook a while ago, but I watched many years ago an interview with Maya Angelou and Oprah and one of their conversations intrigued me.  They were  discussing how negative thoughts and conversely positive ones can affect not only the people around you but also the objects around you.  Have you ever walked into a place and immediately felt the "evil" or the "joy?"  Many have commented that concentration camps have a certain feeling.  Some have said hospitals are like that as well.  I always notice the tone at the airport.  Go to arrivals and sense the joy and go to departures and feel the sadness of goodbyes.

I decided one day that I wanted to read the transcript of it again.  Isn't the internet amazing?  So...

Oprah: And you also don't allow anybody to say anything negative about anybody while in your home.
Maya: That's right. 
Oprah: I've seen you put people out of your house for telling a racist joke! And you are not the least bit embarrassed about disrupting the whole room.
Maya: I believe that a negative statement is poison. The air between you and me is filled with sounds and images. If that were not so, how is it that I can turn on a television right now and see what's happening in New York? That means sounds and images are in the air, crowded, jammed up like bats. And Oprah, I'm convinced that the negative has power. It lives. And if you allow it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said—the lambasting, the gay bashing, the hate—I say, "Take it all out of my house!" Those negative words climb into the woodwork and into the furniture, and the next thing you know they'll be on my skin. 
Oprah: The same is true with the positive spirit.
Maya: I believe so. Oprah: You can allow goodness to come in, and you can claim it.
Maya: You can ask it in, show it how much you like it, make room for it. And it says, "Oh, I like this place, I think I'll stay here." Which is why people go into one house and say, "I want to take my shoes off." At another house, no matter how beautiful it is, they might say, "Hmm, I can't stay."
Oprah: All of your principles stem from knowing who you are, because when you know who you are, you can say to people, "That will not happen in my home."
Maya: That's right—and if I'm in someone else's home, I will leave. And I'm really not sorry. 
O, The Oprah Magazine  |  December 15, 2000

1 comment:

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