I Wish to be a Rainbow in the Clouds..

This morning I was reminded of Dr. Maya Angelou, and a speech I had the pleasure of hearing from her when she came to speak at Oakland University during  one of my years in undergrad.

Listening to her words again almost 5 years later has re-energized my desire to increase intergroup understanding, and reinforced my belief that I am who I  am because of other people. I believe that anyone who is interested in being a positive influence in the lives of others can gain some strength from her words. Enjoy!

 “I’ve had a lot of clouds, but I have had so many rainbows…..and one of the things I do when I step up on a stage, when I stand up to translate, when I go to teach my classes, when I go to direct a movie, I bring everyone who has ever been kind to me with me.”

“Black, White, Asian, Spanish-speaking, Native American, Gay, Straight, everybody. I say come with me — I’m going on this stage. Come with me. I need you now. Long dead….you see.. so I don’t ever feel, I have no help.” “I’ve had rainbows in my clouds.and the thing to do it seems to me… Is to prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.  Somebody who may not look like you…may not call God the same name you call God, if they call God at all, you see? and may not eat the same dishes prepared the way you do, may not dance your dances, speak your language, but be a blessing…to somebody. Thats what I think.”

“You are here because you’ve already been paid for. Someone has been a rainbow in the clouds for you whether you know it or not “All you really have to do is prepare yourselves so you can pay for someone who will come down the road.”  Dr. Maya Angelou

You can check out her website by clicking this link

What I really appreciated from the short clip is the inclusiveness of her approach and her appreciation of the kindness that has been shown to her by others. It is my hope that my actions and presence will be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.

Who are your rainbows?

Grace & Peace, From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins

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Written by

I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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4 Responses

  1. Having “an attitude of gratitude” is so important.

    “You are here because you’ve already been paid for. Someone has been a rainbow in the clouds for you whether you know it or not “All you really have to do is prepare yourselves so you can pay for someone who will come down the road.” Dr. Maya Angelou

    That quote really resonates with me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this. I am going to post it in my classroom and discuss it with my scholars next year in our orientation week. I appreciate all you do and hope you are well, friend.

    Peace,
    Katie Vitale

  3. Hi Katie,

    Thank you so much for responding! I’m really glad that you will be putting it to good use with your students! It was really good for me to come across that clip again, because if offered me some encouragement and inspiration just when i needed it. I’m doing well, and will be finishing up classes soon. I hope you’re having a great time in NY!

    Thanks also for your affirmation. I appreciate all you do as well, and I remain inspired and impacted because of some of the experiences we’ve had in Vandenberg :)

  1. May 23, 2016

    […] I am because of others. As I continue to honor the bridge builders in my life, and be thankful for my own rainbows in the clouds, I also strive to be that person for other […]

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