Being in Maya Angelou's presence for a second time, hearing her sing and speak about her life, was both humbling and uplifting. Dr. Angelou represents a strength, a courage, and an open-ness that I aspire to. She has experienced immeasurable suffering in her lifetime in the form of abuse, abandonment, and racism. Yet, she rises up, a graceful, strong woman who speaks only in positive phrases, not negative. She brings people together.
She told us, "You may encounter many defeats, but do not be defeated." No-one can turn a phrase like Dr. Angelou. And, no matter what she says, it sounds like music. She also said, "Human beings are more alike than we are unalike." This simple statement beautifully summarizes my feelings. All of us, African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans, Asians and Australians, Jews and non-Jews, want the same basic things in life.
I was honored to be in Maya Angelou's presence. I was honored to celebrate Passover. I am honored to be a small part of these events.