I’m looking at another of my quote images in this article, and it could get colourful…
“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud” – Maya Angelou.
American writer Maya Angelou was someone I had seen around online every now and again, but only really discovered after she passed away in 2014.
Maya Angelou, the black female American writer. You might ask why I describe her like that, that it shouldn’t make any difference. Well, the reason she resonated and leaves such a legacy is that she used words that cut through those differences, in times when it *did* make a difference.
She knew the power of words, and she harnessed it, which is why I use one of her famous quotes on the image.
I took that photo on the north Kent coast here in Britain, at a place called Whitstable. I had been ducking the odd thunderstorm, and wondering if there would be a rainbow around somewhere. To then see one poking out of a cloud against one of my favourite seascapes had me snapping away!
So, the combination of words and image, something that can really put a message across right?
Well, yes, and the messages can have a powerful effect on others.
They can motivate others, they can encourage others, they can make others smile, and they can lift others up. That’s when we can be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud…
We all have clouds in life. All of us do, and if anyone says otherwise, I suggest they aren’t being totally honest.
One of my own phrases I use a lot is that life isn’t always rainbows and sequins. Yes, we should soak those suckers up, but we should also learn how to deal with the down times – the set backs, the obstacles, the frustrations, the clouds.
Sometimes they might just be little blips, but sometimes they can set it for a long haul. In either case, often one of the best ways of dealing with them is to ask others for help. Sometimes the best way is for someone to have some quiet alone time, I understand that, but often the power of connecting with someone else can have a dramatic positive effect.
Once we learn this, we can reduce the impact of the clouds in life, but here’s the key – if we are going to be proactive in getting others to help *us*, then we can use the same principle to make us be the help for others.
This is where we can be the rainbow for others.
Sometimes we might be asked, but since not everyone will know the power of asking for help, sometimes you can surprise people by helping them, and this will make the power of the rainbow even stronger.
We mustn’t push our help, we mustn’t impose ourselves on someone if they haven’t asked, but to let them know we are available is important.
Sometimes that can be enough. It might just be the glint of colour someone else needs to see, so they know they are not alone, that others are there to support them.
Sometimes the help can be practical, sometimes it can be more psychological…
If we think of a rainbow, it happens when the light gets distorted through the moisture in the air, and it’s the different colours that produce the rainbow.
To take that analogy to a practical level, it might be that you can offer someone a different way to do something in real life. That different angle might show someone a whole new way, and it will get rid of the cloud for them.
With the psychological analogy, you can offer a different way of thinking – looking at the problem from a different angle, which again might inspire someone or lift them up.
There’s another way of comparing a rainbow to ways we can help others, and it’s the fact that rainbows are just ‘there’. They are silent, thought provoking, and make a connection to anyone that sees them, which the individual can then interpret as they choose.
So, when it comes to helping others, sometimes it’s silence we can offer. Just listening. We don’t necessarily need to offer solutions, or even *understand* someone’s issues, but to be there to listen can be as powerful as the solution based ‘rainbows’!
If the other person knows they can talk without being judged or having to explain, that helps them to unravel knots of thought, thoughts which can be the root of the cloud. Maybe they thought they were alone, and the knowledge that someone is there to listen is the different angle of colour and light they needed to see.
Does that all sound somewhat corny? Well, that could be, but if so then so be it, it doesn’t make it any less powerful!
Think to your own life clouds. How did other people help you, how was someone else a rainbow in your cloud? Then think of others who might be going through difficult times – can you offer them some colour, some light, a different angle?
I enjoy a lot of Maya Angelou’s quotes, I do recommend you look her up, and whenever you can, be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.
I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. Helping others is a great thing – if you’d like to find out how you can do more of it, then grab my free 8 step goal achievement formula!