“Still like air, I rise.”
A few weeks back I referred to American poet Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise and even put in a few stanzas from it. Now I won’t do this again this time but rather just focus on her quote for today which is one of the shorter ones we’ve had, however by far one of the most powerful ones: “Still like air, I rise.” When it comes to living our own lives we can in the words of Morgan Freeman’s character Red in the movie the Shawshank Redemption said, “We either get busy living, or get busy dying.” It is ultimately up to us. The question is will we rise when we are needed to most?
A little backstory to Maya Angelou’s poem was that she wrote it with black slavery and civil rights in mind with the the main message of no matter what happens to you, the injustice, the disrespect or humiliation that may ensue, you will not give in. Throughout the poem it is as if she is speaking to someone who acts more like her oppressor with whom she is telling that no matter what they do to her she will continue to rise and face whatever challenges come her way. This poem really embraces what I wish for anyone in that no matter what happens to them in life they maintain their own self- respect and confidence in their abilities. Those things right there should be a part of everyone’s SEL DNA; hands down. Nothing should hold us back and in moments of despair it is then and there that we need to reach down and dig deep and rise above.
We need to remember that if life was supposed to be easy someone would have already given us the roadmap to navigate through our lives telling us when to left instead of right and where to avoid the road hazards of life. Unfortunately this isn’t the case and we experience the highs and lows like everyone else. The challenge lies when those number of lows sometimes look to be outweighing the number of highs. In those times, if we look at it as an opportunity to overcome what lies before us and learn to effectively manage our stress, controlling our impulses and motivating ourselves to get back up when life knocks us down our self management skills will reach new heights. We all have the ability to rise to any occasion but it comes down to our choice in doing so to make it happen.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards managing yourself better?