Lesson 68: Maya Angelou – Words to Live By (Level 2)

If life teaches us anything, it may be that it’s necessary to suffer some defeats. Look at a diamond: It is the result of extreme pressure. Less pressure, it is crystal; less than that, it’s coal; and less than that, it is fossilised leaves or just plain dirt.

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

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

When you learn, teach. When you get, give.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.

A) Vocabulary-

Pressure – force, push, press
Crystal – a transparent rock
Fossilise – (verb) to preserve an animal or plant
Attitude – a point of view, a way of looking at things
Mission – goal, aim, purpose
Survive – remain alive
Thrive – do well, succeed
Passion – a strong feeling, a strong interest
Delight – pleasure, happiness, joy
Patience – the ability to wait, the ability to continue doing something despite difficulties
Talent – a natural skill or ability

B)Discussion Points

  1. Please look up Maya Angelou on the Internet.
  2. Please answer the following questions about Maya Angelou:
  3. What was Maya Angelou by profession?
  4. When was she born?
  5. When did she die?
  6. Why is she famous?
  7. Do you know of any other famous poets?
  8. Do you have a favourite poem?
  9. Can you find a saying or a poem by this poet? If it is not in English, please try to translate it into English.
  10. Do you like the quotes above?
  11. Which one speaks to you?
  12. Please write about one value in one or two short and simple sentences. Choose a value that is important to you. It could be about patience, courage, kindness or any other value.