Sunday, November 23, 2008

Inspiration from Maya Angelou


I'm listening to a rebroadcast of Diane Rehm's interview with Maya Angelou, about her new book, Letter to My Daughter. Angelou--whose only child is a son--wrote the book to share lessons with women she calls her daughters all over the world. Callers to this show are demonstrating how much she has moved and connected with them, and this book begins with just such a passage:
I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think that what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.
Angelou's writing and speaking style emphasize qualities that any speaker would do well to learn. She's genuine and direct, but not unkind in being so. She uses plain, accessible language, and uses poetic rhythms, modulated tones and vocal emphasis to enhance the simple words. And she enjoys herself and appreciates her audience, always a key to connecting. Enjoy the interview and the book as inspiration from a great woman speaker.

Buy Letter to My Daughter