Passion, compassion, humor and style

Thoughts to Ponder

“My mission in life is not merely to survive,
but to do so with some passion,
some compassion,
some humor,
and some style.”
Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou had the ability to tell us the hard truths gently. We knew she was telling us how to live fully. This quote reminds us that we must be multi-dimensional, rather than too focused on one part of our life. In order to live fully we must not just survive, but live with passion, compassion, humor and style. That sounds like a tall order, but it isn’t. This is merely a repeat of lessons taught us through the generations.

We must work, play and rest with our whole being, our passion. Working at a job or participating in a recreational activity we don’t like quickly drains our enthusiasm. Rest is particularly important. Our bodies do not regenerate if we limit our sleeping hours or if we’re reviewing our to-do lists as we begin to drift into Sandman territory.

Not only do we look at those less fortunate than we with compassion, but we must also treat ourselves with kindness and love. Throw the shoulda, woulda, couldas into the trash can. We must accept ourselves for who we are before we can become the people we want to be. That sounds backward, but is not. If we constantly go through our day thinking and saying, “I’d be better off if I could only lose 50 pounds or run a marathon,” we will accomplish neither. We need to say, “This is the weight I am and these are the physical abilities I have today. I choose to use them to the best of my ability.” With that attitude, miracles happen.

Have you ever noticed that when you have a headache and feel like your head is going to explode then someone comes along and tells you a joke. You begin to laugh, and soon the headache is gone.

Humor also heals relationships. For example, one person will tell another, “You’re acting like a stupid a$$. “
The other one begins to bray.
“What are you doing? We’re trying to solve a difficult issue here.”
“You called me ‘a stupid a$$,’ so I thought I’d act like one.”
Now both are laughing and the problem is solved by the pair working together.

Everyone has his or her own style. Maya Angelou carried her great height with flair and wore clothes that enhanced her appearance, but most of all she had her own particular way of relating to those around her. Often we say, “I wish I had so-and-so’s way of walking, talking, wearing clothes.” We don’t need that person’s style. We have our own. If we don’t like our style we can change it, as long as it fits our personality and environment.

We create our own passion, compassion, humor and style. What we do and how we do it is unique to each of us. We have no need to copy another person. We are unique and can carry that individuality with panache or we can schlep through life being invisible. Which would you rather do?


Creator Spirit,
Thank you for reminding us that we are unique, yet we each have passion, compassion, humor and style. The more we remember that we are unique, the less we have a desire to fit in, to be one of the crowd. Crowds don’t solve problems or heal someone’s aching heart. Individuals do. Today we chose to be the very best unique people we can be.
And so it is.

© by Sharon Dillon, August 26, 2014

Sharon D. Dillon, and Laugh your way to peace, love and joy at
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

Contents may be forwarded, but please give credit where credit is due and erase all email addresses on original message.


3 thoughts on “Passion, compassion, humor and style

  1. Dear Sharon,

    Nice use of the quote in your own text. Could be a bit shorter, but the structure is good.


    Jack Lott

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