Mar 24, 2018 || COURAGE
Just read an update from my friend Stanley. He scribbled down a powerful interview between two of my favorite women ever – Oprah and the late Maya Angelou, who happen to be his favorite too!
Really wish I could get the entire thing, but I’m not really a Spotify person but i can sacrifice and try to get it out and see if it’s possible to share from there. It really spoke to me and blessed me. Hope it does for you too. (PS: A bit long).
Oprah: I remember once being in your house and somebody was telling a joke. And you were on the other side of the house… we were at a party, it was very noisy. And the person made a joke and it was a racist, homophobic joke… and you stopped the party.
Maya Angelou: Mmm hmmm
Oprah: First of all, I couldn’t believe, I was like how could she hear that from all the way over there. But you stopped the party and asked the persons to excuse themselves and leave your house.
Maya: Yes. Yes. Exactly. I said “is this your coat? Did you come with anyone? Both of you come this way.” Oh yeah, no no no!
Oprah: I know!!! And every one else was like “whoa what just happened”. And then you said to all of us, “I would not allow it in my house.”
Maya: That’s right, it’s vulgarity and it’s poison. And this is what a person must know. I know there are black people who say, “Oh, you can use the N-word to me because I’m black.” NO! It is poison. All of that. Any racial perjorative, any sexual perjorative, any of that stuff is created to make a person less than human. And that means it’s poison. Nobody can use it safely. I mean if poison is poison that you get from a pharmacy… you can’t take that content and pour it into bavarian crystal and make it otherwise… it’s still poison. You don’t want… it clings to the walls, gets into the upholstery, in your clothes and sooner or later, right into you.
Oprah: So this is what I wanna know… where did you get the courage to not allow it in your space. Because many of you are watching right now, people say things that make you uncomfortable.. they start a joke that you know is leading down a racial path, down a homophobic path or whatever. And people just sort of laugh nervously at it because they don’t know how to stop it. How do you stop it?
Maya: You don’t stop it by doing it immediately. You develop courage. Courage, Oprah, is the most important of all the virtues. Because without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue consistently. You can be anything erratically now and then – kind, fair, true, generous, just, blah blah. But to do that thing time after time… So what you do is you do it in small ways. I mean if you wanted to pick up a 100 pounds weight, you don’t just go do it. You start picking 5 pounds and 10 pounds and 20 pounds. Well that’s the same way you do with courage. You do the courageous thing, a small one, and you like yourself. And then you do another two, three, and you like yourself better. And before you know it, you are able to say, “Excuse me, not in my house you don’t. You don’t paint my walls with poison and vulgarity. You will not do it in my house. Out. Is this your purse? Thank you. Bye”
Oprah: Oh my goodness, I’ve seen it. Because you believe that words are things.
Maya: Yes ma’am, I know they are. You can put some words together and make people want to go to war. You can put another few words and make them long for peace. Words are so important. And this is what you take to God… words… you may not frame them, but God knows your heart. So when you go down on your knees, or in your bed, or riding in a car, and you pray, you’re using words. “I’m lonely. I’m hungry. I’m lost. I’m in pain. Help” Whatever your words are, they are words, they inform not only God but anyone around you. How you really feel. You are able to speak in nuances.
Oprah: So be careful how you use them…
Maya: Yes ma’am.
Oprah: Because they carry the power…
Maya: Yes ma’am.
THANKS to Stan Azuakola for putting this together