Oh, Maya

She Inspired 
by Just Add Kids Founder
Paula Herrmann

Do you ever wonder how someone who has made such an impact on so many kinda flies under your radar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     It’s not that I’ve never heard of Maya Angelou. I have. And I connect her immediately with Oprah Winfrey. So I think I know that Oprah has been inspired by her and she’s referenced her, quoted her, and obviously must’ve had her as a guest on her show one or several times. I really don’t know.

I was a bit surprised at the conversation that ensued this evening in our car ride. Read more….

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     My intellectual (DD #2) mentioned, “Oh, did you hear Maya Angelou died?” Her older sister replies “Ah, yah, that was already yesterday” (funny how “yesterday’s news” in this technological, social media day in age might sometimes be construed as “old news’). Her intentions, I gather were not that it still wasn’t newsworthy, but rather to indicate she trumped her sister in current events. Surprisingly, the intellectual really wasn’t too familiar with Maya, either. It was older sister, DD #1, who gave us some insight as to who Maya was. She indicated she was talked about a lot in elementary and middle school literature books. Apparently, DD #1 has read many of her works, especially her poetry. That really surprised me. She really holds Maya and her inspirational writing in high regard. Gosh, you think you know a kid, especially when she’s been around for 19 years!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I’m not sure why my path hasn’t crossed and attention caught with what Maya stood for. I find strength, empowerment, encouragement and knowledge in my own daily teachings that I personally tap into with Joyce Meyer. So, I thought I’d take a few moments to look into Maya a bit, and of course in the day that has followed her death, there is no shortage of people writing about her life, her works, her impact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not much of a book reader, as I know I am definitely on the adult ADHD spectrum, I found that indeed I would have benefitted from following her Twitter posts. Not a frequent poster, but Maya’s 140 character bits of wisdom, sure would have been welcomed in my feed! Here a few tweets that touched me:






I wonder about the sense of loss, not only her family member, close friends and colleagues may feel, yet those whose lives she profoundly impacted. Those she never knew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’m always amazed when I see someone whose name, in a coincidental way, reflects a bit of who they “are” or in Maya’s case “was”. ANGELou. Again, as I look to my own inspirational mentor JOYce. Just interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh Maya, what a legacy you’ve left. I’m glad to have gotten to know you a bit today.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Paula, what a great piece you wrote. I LOVE that your daughters both know who she is and that your DD#1 is so familiar with her body of work. Like you, I’m not too familiar with more than the sound bites over the years.

    Although I do use this quote in my workshops, which is a popular one of Angelou’s:

    “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.”

    Thanks for sharing. I didn’t even know that the great poet had died. We are all blessed by her time on earth.

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