Only a few people can be identified as regal if you ask me. Queen Elizabeth II – by definition – is regal, even as an 88 year old horsewoman, although I’m not sure she carries herself as regally as Maya Angelou did in her 86 years on the earth.
What makes a person elegant or resplendent or majestic? It’s a quality that cannot be faked. It doesn’t happen automatically because someone has a title.
We can learn a lot about what Regal looks like by observing the life of Maya Angelou.
- She carried herself with self-respect whether she was in The Store or the streets or the stage.
- She was curious all her life, learning to speak multiple languages and living in a variety of places. It’s impossible to carry ourselves with elegance if we think we know everything.
- She chose every word carefully. She famously didn’t speak for about six years after a childhood trauma, and like all good poets, she picked her words thoughtfully and precisely when she spoke again.
- She was gentle in spite of the brutality she’d witnessed.
- She knew the difference between bitterness and anger: Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. (We sometimes forget that Jesus was never bitter, but he was occasionally angry over injustice.)
- She picked herself up after loss and missteps. It’s a positive person who considers her life charmed even after growing up in the Jim Crow South and enduring childhood abuse.
- She was a beautiful older lady. People wanted to be near her because she made them feel wonderful.
This is what I’d love to be if I live into my 80s. Regal like Maya Angelou.