One of the first things that a young person must internalize, deep down in the blood and bones, is the understanding that he may encounter many defeats, but he must not be defeated. If life teaches us anything, it may be that it’s even necessary to suffer some defeats. When we look at a diamond, a diamond is the result of extreme pressure. Less pressure, it is crystal; less than that, it is coal; and less than that, it is fossilized leaves or just plain dirt. It is necessary, therefore, to be tough enough to bite the bullet as it is in fact shot into one’s mouth, to bite it and stop it before it tears a hole in one’s throat.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“Maya Angelou Raps,” interview by Jeffrey M. Elliot, Sepia (Oct 1977)
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Added on 19-Jan-21 | Last updated 19-Jan-21
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