The legendary poet and writer Maya Angelou passed recently at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was 86.
I first came across Angelou because of an odd habit she had: she liked to work in dirty hotel rooms. Sadly it took her passing for me to look a little deeper.
In a 1977 interview by journalist Judith Rich, found in Conversations with Maya Angelou, she reflects on the meaning of life and the most important virtue.
I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences. They may not all be that pleasant, but nobody promised you a rose garden. But more than likely if you do dare, what you get are the marvelous returns. Courage is probably the most important of the virtues, because without courage you cannot practice any of the other virtues, you can’t say against a murderous society, I oppose your murdering. You got to have courage to do so. I seem to have known that a long time and found great joy in it.
Still curious? Check out: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou.