Maya Angelou was an absolute genius. Her novels depict both the challenges of life, and the absolute joys that it can bring.

As we end March 2021, the last year and a bit has been tough, but also joyous in many ways. There have always been challenges and cruelty in life, and I feel that this quote from Maya Angelou expresses how, even though there are challenges and experiences that change us, we can choose how we react. We can react negatively or we can react positively, or we can react in any way that we see fit.

Personally, this past year has been a huge challenge. My mental health has been at an all time low, and there have been days where I’ve really struggled to get through every minute. But I can choose how I react to that. I could see myself as weak, weaker than I have been in my entire life, or I can see myself as strong for fighting against those demons and ultimately winning. These moments have changed me, but I am not reduced by them.

We cannot let moments reduce us. Girls, and women, are often quick to react negatively to something that happens. We punish ourselves for something that wasn’t our fault. We talk down to ourselves, we have low self-esteem, we have no self-compassion. We have been brought up in a society where we are generally still deemed to be ‘the weaker sex’. We are often belittled and reduced by society itself, so we certainly don’t need to be reacting negatively and reducing ourselves further.

We need to empower ourselves. We can be changed, but we should refuse to be reduced.

-Lexi Burrows
Education Assistant
Girl Museum Inc.

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