As many of us are, I'm thinking of Maya Angelou today. I'm remembering one night in particular, maybe fifteen years ago when she was M.C.'ing an event -- I think for the Childrens' Defense Fund, at the National Building Museum in Washington -- and a man in the third row gasped and collapsed while Maya was speaking.
Maya never lost her gracious, present, and peaceful tone as she asked all of us to just stay still, and hold a space for the man's healing; assuring us that those who need to help him will appear, and the rest of us should remain conscious and calm. Within moments, a doctor came to the man's aide, and then the ambulance arrived and took him away (the man ended up fine the following day), and the evening continued with grace and humility. I saw Maya's incredible spirit in that moment, and by sharing with us such wisdom and peace in such a tense moment, she gave all of us the chance to rise to her level.
It was inspiring; just one of those moments that show you how great human beings can be.
Thank you Maya, for showing us how it's done.