After Maya Angelou passed on I found myself looking at all the social media postings celebrating her life and expressing remorse at her death. I wasn’t really surprised at the outpouring but it did get me thinking about how many people’s lives she has touched. Her words have given so many people; inspiration, comfort and guidance. While thinking about her effect on the world I saw a post of the commencement address that Admiral William H. McRaven gave to the University of Texas class of 2014. I immediately thought, here are 2 people from very different lives that have made a significant difference in our world. Maya changed the world with her story and her words while ADM McRaven changed the world by being a leader of men.
It’s easy to forget how our everyday actions change the world around us for better or for worse. One of my favorite Maya quotes is “People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. While it’s not practical to think that we can always deliver only good news I try to deliver even the worst news in a manner that adds value to the person who is affected by that news. My theory is that if all of our actions add value to those we interact with then we are changing the world one interaction at a time. While I will admit that I don’t always accomplish this goal. I keep trying because you never know when that positive interaction will be the key factor that brings about change in their world. In summary; while going about it in two very different manners both of these great people have taught us that we can change the world by staying positive, following the golden rule and never giving up.
Whatch the commencement address here: 10 Lessons From A Navy Seal