On The Death of a Poet

The title explains what I thought happened today. Maya Angelou died today at the age of 86. I immediately understood the loss that the literary world experienced. Mrs. Angelou was a wonderful poet, beautifully crafting her words in to works that touched many hearts. That she would create no more was a sad thing indeed. However, I didn’t understand why it seemed that the world was mourning.

I occurs to me that my ignorance may have left me late to the game again. I looked, I read, I studied, I learned of the life and impact that this incredible woman made. I learned that she was a civil rights activist, a teacher, and an absolute warrior for peace (among a number of other things). I learned that I knew very little.

My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.

– Maya Angelou

I also learned that I often know very little about a number of things. I make the mistake of thinking I know all there is to know about a particular subject and, as a result, fail to get all the information. I ignore my ignorance and convince myself that I have nothing in that arena to learn. I play the part of a fool.

It’s something we all do every now and again. We believe we have the answers and, as a result, miss out on many of them. We make huge mistakes in thinking that a little bit of humility would correct. We allow our arrogance to get the best of us. Most of the time, it wins.

Take the time today to learn something new. Decide that you’re going to correct a trend that most of us fall into; one that hinders our growth and stifles our ability to understand the world. And, please, leave your thoughts in the comments.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.