I learned that a friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.

Maya Angelou

This unifying sentiment by writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou is from her 2008 book "Letter to My Daughter," a collection of essays featuring advice for young women about living a life of meaning. Although Angelou herself never had a daughter, she dedicated this book to women from all walks of life: “I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters,” she wrote. “You are black and white, Jewish and Muslim, Asian, Spanish speaking, Native Americans and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all.” Growing up in segregated Arkansas, Angelou was the target of racial prejudice and discrimination, but her work speaks of grace and equality at every turn. Her words above remind us of the connections that can be missed through judgment, or gained with tolerance and compassion.