Thoughts to Ponder

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but
people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou


This is not a tribute to Dr. Angelou, though I’d be glad to add my praise to all the others who’ve taken the time to write about her impact on their lives. I’ll just say that she gave me courage to keep on keeping on.

Her quote explains how most of us got to where we are today. Our station in life often reflects how people have made us feel over the years. Retrospectives are a pain, but they often teach us what we need to know today.

• Did our parents, teachers, friends and spouses let us know they valued our presence, knowledge and love?
• Did they show us that we were a nuisance, substandard and a drain on their emotions, money and time?
• Did they just ignore us and pretend we didn’t exist?

We’ve all felt valued, devalued and ignored. Which of those dominated our lives and made us the people we are today? How do we treat other people? Do we value, devalue or ignore them? How will our actions impact those people as they go out into the world?

No matter how we have been treated in the past, we can determine to be better people. We have a choice about how we treat ourselves. Are we kind, considerate, forgiving of our selves. How we treat ourselves is reflected in how we treat others.

As someone once said, “God don’t make junk. So don’t act like you are.”

Creator Spirit, thank you for the gift of life and the ability to evaluate our actions and how they’ve been impacted by our experiences. We thank you that you’ve given us the ability to learn and improve. We choose to be messengers of love, kindness and thoughtful action that bring peace and confidence to those we meet on our journey.
And, so it is.

Sharon D. Dillon,,
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at

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5 thoughts on “Thoughts to Ponder

  1. I feel it from the other direction, from parents who wanted the best for me, but, though I didn’t think of it then, regularly accused me of being unworthy, of not doing my part. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with that, though on some level I guess I understood the problem and made some effort to correct it with my kids – who, btw, seem both to have done well with their offspring.

    It has taken me several decades to pretty fully appreciate, though I’ve longer held the suspicion of, the truth that what’s more important than being told you are ‘special,’ is being left with the feeling that’s true.

    1. As one who was made to feel less than, I despise the term “special.” But I like when people let me know that they truly enjoy my company or appreciate something I’ve done. I’m now learning that I’m just as good as …. and that feels pretty good.

      My daughter is a much better parent than I was and I tell her that I appreciate her parenting all the more, knowing that I didn’t do so well. Even so, I did better than my parents and so on ….

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