May 28, 2014 4:25 pm

Inspiring words from poet Maya Angelou

Watch: Acclaimed American poet, author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. Devoted to helping people find the best in themselves, she never stopped inspiring. Eric Sorensen reports.

Celebrated poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou died Wednesday at 86.

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Angelou gained recognition with the publication of her first book in 1969, an autobiography called I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Here are some of her most inspiring quotes:

“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.”

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou, pictured on March 1, 2014.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

“Nothing will work, unless you do.”

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’”

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

Maya Angelou, pictured on Nov. 21, 2008.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true merciful, generous, or honest.”

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

Angelou last tweeted on May 23:

© Shaw Media, 2014

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