Human Family | A Poem by Maya Angelou

July 4, 2014

Human Familyis a poignant reminder…

human family by maya angelou imageI believe that our human experience is the force that conjoins us as a whole. A few years ago, I came across Human Family by the late Maya Angelou. I felt as if she sat me down to confirm my own beliefs. Conspicuous human habits and our penchant for signifying differences as otherness, has disengaged our spirits from the notion of Oneness. The differences are not enough to deny the infinite similarities between us. I love this poem because it reminds us of the Human Family in a beautifully crafted work. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike

Human Family
by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.