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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, dancing and good movies.  

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Can a poetic quote by Maya Angelou be the key that unlocks happiness?

[A "magic" portrait of the young Maya Angelou]

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.
Maya Angelou [born Marguerite Ann Johnson]

I was thinking about this beautiful and poetic quote by Maya Angelou today, while going to work after a quick stop in a supermarket. The young cashier has been rude to me without particular reasons and I suddenly remembered how sad I has been, during my first year in Berlin, each time when someone was rude or impolite or disrespectful.

At that time I felt... guilty. Maybe it was my fault if they were rude, because my German was not good enough? This is what I thought for a long time, and I was ashamed. But then, at last, I realised that this is not a good reason to be rude to someone. That my German was not the problem. That I was not the problem.

My German is not bad any longer and I am not afraid any longer. I don´t feel guilty any longer and I am actually proud of myself and of everything I did in the last three years. Today I just smiled, while leaving the supermarket, because it´s not my problem if someone is unhappy or frustrated and wants to be rude. I am not the problem.

And I realised that it´s true, for sure, that you will remember how someone makes you feel, but that is up to you, to let someone else have control over your emotions. Or keep the control yourself.
What do you prefer?

--
Ich habe gelernt, dass man zwar vergessen wird, was Du gesagt oder gemacht hast, aber man nie vergessen wird, wie man sich durch dich gefühlt hat.
Maya Angelou [gebürtig Marguerite Ann Johnson]

Heute morgen habe ich an dieses poetische und schöne Zitat von Maya Angelou gedacht, als ich zur Arbeit ging, nachdem ich kurz in einem Supermarkt war. Die junge Kassiererin ist ohne Grund unfreundlich zu mir gewesen und ich habe mich plötzlich daran erinnert, wie traurig ich immer war, während meines ersten Jahres in Berlin, wenn jemand nicht nett war oder unfreundlich oder rücksichtlos.

Damals fühlte ich mich... schuldig. Vielleicht war es meine Schuld gewesen, wenn die Leute unfreundlich waren, weil mein Deutsch nicht gut genug war? Das habe ich für eine lange Zeit gedacht, und ich habe mich geschämt. Bis ich endlich verstanden habe, dass das kein richtiger Grund ist, zu jemandem unfreundlich sein zu dürfen. Dass mein Deutsch nicht das Problem war. Dass nicht ich das Problem war.

Mein Deutsch ist nicht mehr schlecht und ich habe keine Angst mehr. Ich fühle mich nicht mehr schuldig und bin im Gegenteil stolz auf mich und auf alles, was ich in den letzten drei Jahren gemacht habe. Heute habe ich einfach beim Verlassen des Supermarktes gelächelt, weil es nicht mein Problem ist, wenn jemand unzufrieden oder unglücklich ist und unhöflich sein möchte. Ich bin nicht das Problem.

Ich habe dann verstanden, dass es sicherlich stimmt, dass Ihr Euch daran erinnern werdet, wie Ihr Euch durch jemanden fühlt, aber dass es von Euch abhängig ist, ob ihr jemand anderem die Kontrolle über Eure Gefühle überlasst, oder ob ihr das nicht zulasst und selber die Kontrolle über sie behaltet.
Was möchtet Ihr lieber?

--
Ho imparato che le persone possono dimenticarsi che cosa hai detto, possono dimenticarsi che cosa hai fatto, ma non potranno mai dimenticarsi di come le hai fatte sentire.
Maya Angelou [pseudonimo di Marguerite Ann Johnson]

Oggi stavo pensando a questa citazione di Maya Angelou, bella e poetica, mentre stavo andando al lavoro dopo aver fatto tappa per qualche minuto in un supermercato. La giovane cassiera è stata scortese con me, senza averne motivo, e mi sono ricordata di colpo quanto ci rimanevo male ogni volta che qualcuno era maleducato, scortese o irrispettoso, durante il mio primo anno a Berlino.

A quel tempo mi sentivo ogni volta... colpevole. E se fosse colpa mia se le persone sono scortesi, dato che il mio tedesco non è abbastanza buono? Me lo sono chiesta per lungo tempo. E mi sono vergognata. Finché, finalmente, ho capito che non è una buona ragione per essere scortesi con qualcuno. Che il mio tedesco non era il problema. Che io non ero il problema.

Il mio tedesco non è più insufficiente e io non ho più paura. Non mi sento più in colpa e sono anzi fiera di me e di tutto quello che ho fatto negli ultimi tre anni. Oggi nel lasciare il supermercato ho semplicemente sorriso, perché non è un mio problema, se qualcuno è infelice o frustrato e desidera essere scortese. Non sono io il problema.

E mi sono resa conto che è certamente vero che non vi dimenticherete mai di come qualcuno vi fa sentire, ma che dipende da voi, concedere a qualcun altro il controllo sulle vostre emozioni. Oppure mantenerne il controllo.
Che cosa preferite?

Tags: Maya Angelou, Quotes, Zitate, Citazioni, Emotions, Gefühle, Sentimenti, Control, Kontrolle, Controllo