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11 Maya Angelou Quotes To Help Progressives Deal With Their Existential Despair


“Whining not only makes you ugly, it lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.”


After Donald Trump’s unexpected electoral victory, many celebrities have sunken into a deep despair — including Emma Watson, who hid copies of Maya Angelou’s “Mom & Me & Mom” on the New York City subway the day after Election Day.

“We could all use a little Maya Angelou right now,” Claire Fallon of The Huffington Post writes. 

She’s right. Here are 11 Maya Angelou quotes to help progressives and celebrities (but I repeat myself) deal with a Donald Trump presidency.

1. “Whining not only makes you ugly, it lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.”

— Interview with Harvard Business Review, 2013.

2. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

3. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

— Interview, Girl About Town, 1986.

4. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

— “Letter to My Daughter,” 2009.

5. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

Interview with Paris Review, 1990.

6.  “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

7. “We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.”

— Interview with Marianne Schnall, 2008.

8. “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn.”

— “His Day is Done,” a tribute to Nelson Mandela, 2013.

9. “A man or woman who sees other people as whole and prepared and accords them respect and the same rights has arranged his or her own allies.”

— Interview with Harvard Business Review, 2013.

10. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

11. “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

— Interview with USA Today, 1988.