“I come as one, but I stand for 10,000” – Maya Angelo
This quote is from a poem called “Grandmother” written by Dr. Maya Angelo
What does it mean?
As an individual you are influenced by those who came before you.
We are only one individual, but our encounters with people throughout our lifetime are what has helped shape us into the individual we are today. Those influential individuals can be people we have met, or people who we see in media or by word of mouth. They can be personal or public figures in our lives. Those people that have impacted our lives in a positive way are the ones who we stand for.
I am Olivia, but I stand as all those strong, smart, and inspirational women who have influenced my values, thoughts, and emotions. These women have taught me how to live based on sharing their own personal experiences. These women include my mother, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends, teammates, family friends, professors, mentors, teachers, and many more.
The late night chats with loved ones, the every day conversations, the advice sessions, and even the crying sessions; I’ve been through it all. Through those encounters others have expressed very wise words; some of which I’ve taken note of and would like to share….
“Respect me or bounce?” – Mom — (I know what you’re thinking, how can I have such a short and not too inspirationally deep quote from my mother? Well this quote was said recently, and it came at a time when I was down on myself. A time when I was tired of being played by boys. She was giving me a pep talk and that sentence just flew out of her mouth with a gangster vibe. I instantly loved it!)
“Happiness and sorrow are like two book ends. You can’t have one without the other. Sorrow makes you understand happiness.” – Meme, my grandmother — She is 100% right! Without the lows you couldn’t have felt the highs.
“Every chance you take, every decision that’s made, they all make you who you are and lead you to where you’re meant to be.” – Liz, cousin — AMEN Sista!
“There is a reason why it happened, and you can’t spend all your time blaming or shaming yourself.” – Karen, close family friend – Move on, get over it, learn from it, and grow.
“It’s all about the self love and doing it on my own until a damn man can catch up to me (good luck to him right!?) – Jessie, cousin – Preach! Work it! Be you!
I stand for a lot of things, but I always have believed in the importance of women empowering other women.
Some people interpret this quote as standing up for an entire population of people. You may come as one, but you also stand for all those generations of your culture before you. In an interview, Oprah Winfrey explained her representation of the quote, and said that she stands for herself and all other African American women who have came before her.
Who do you stand for? Who has helped your personal growth to become the person that you are on this day?
I’ve gone through a journey, but I have never walked it alone.
“I come as one, but I stand for ten thousand.” – Dr. M.A