What if there was one rule for living that we could turn to when we found ourselves in a tough situation or downward spiraling mindset? Ever wish you had access to a grandparent or wise elder?

Today, we share a very simple perspective that might be helpful.

Maya Angelou was an iconic American author, journalist, and poet who started life as a fry cook and nightclub dancer. During her long life, she pioneered a way of thinking about life’s challenges that was outside the mainstream.

In her 80’s she became the grandmother all of us wish we had. Take a look at this lovely piece of advice and see what you think:

(The video capture image below looks like a broken link, but I just checked it out and it works fine. Must be something on their end at the OWN YouTube channel. Click on through. It’s a great, short video insight!)

Via: OWN 1

Lovely advice there. I’m including the painting that Maya referred to so that we might all be able to imagine sitting ourselves down in that circle of wise elders and telling them our problems. We know what they might say, don’t we?

Image: Phoebe Beasley's painting called Sister Sookie's Funeral

Source: Artist Phoebe Beasley

They would listen wholeheartedly, nod silently with an appreciation for our struggle, and when we had spilled everything we had, they might simply say:

“Just do right, hun. Just do right.”

And there’s the rub: finding the courage to just do right, in every situation or mindset.

I can think of some situations when if I’d had this perspective, I might have acted sooner, stopped to think of the other person’s perspective, or been far more patient.

Today, I’m writing from a hotel room in Boston, and I casually picked up the newspaper they slide under the door in the morning.

I had just watched this Maya Angelou video and had a small revelation: if the people making that newspaper headlines today had just stopped to ask their elder what to do, 11 out of the first 20 stories in the paper would not be there.

flower with butterfly

Source: Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Maybe this kind of change starts right at home. Maybe we can make it our mantra to ourselves, to our work teams, to our children. Might make things a lot easier everywhere.

I just googled Maya Angelou and you’ll find no end to her work – books, poetry, theater, essay, videos like our share today. Click Here to scroll down through some of her insightful videos. I can recommend her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Maybe she’s that firm but loving grandmother the world needs us to defer to more often today.

Meanwhile, stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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  1. Angelou, Maya. “Dr. Maya Angelou’s 3-Word Secret to Living Your Best Life – Oprah’s Master Class – OWN.” YouTube. Oprah Winfrey Network, 28 May 2014. Web. 07 Nov. 2015.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast--new episodes every Wednesday!