People Will Forget What You Said, But They Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

By Samantha McKenzie

“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.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

One day, I walked into a local cafe for lunch and saw this excerpt written by the late Dr. Maya Angelou. It was mounted on the brick wall, nicely framed, about a foot away from some freshly baked cookies that competed for its attention.

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I read it over and over again, allowing the words to soak in and time to stand still on behalf of my starving soul. In hindsight, I realized that time was actually ticking away and hasty customers were maneuvering around me to get to the front of the line and onto their intended business.

As I waited my turn, I continued dissecting the short paragraph, realizing that the majority of the sentences began with the words, “I’ve learned.” Learning. What a privilege. What a privilege it is to learn something and to realize you still have a lot more to learn. It left a lingering message inside of me, just like the author once did.

It forced me to ask the question. What impressions are we making on others? In the midst of our busy days, long commutes and chatter, are we leaving anything behind? Are we leaving anything behind that worthwhile? Are we connecting with our fellow man? Are we sharing more pain than pleasures? Are we as unique as our very own thumbprint?

Long after I vacated the cafe, I thought about this message, its impact, and its incredible wisdom. I wanted to take more time to congratulate others for their accomplishments. I wanted to press pause on the day and tell a friend how much their phone call meant to me or how the text I received from them inspired. I wanted to show my gratitude.

As I step into another day, I want to give more and leave more of myself with others. And just as the author wrote, I want to be that kind of person who makes others feel better, even after I’m lone gone.

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My hope is…that we all share in the experience of making others feel better and making our impressions last for a lifetime.

Those framed words.

Hung on the exposed brick wall.

Left me with a feeling.

I’ll never forget.

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