Women of Substance and Heart

Carol A. Hand

“The woman is the foundation on which nations are built. She is the heart of her nation. If that heart is weak, the people are weak. If her heart is strong and her mind is clear, then the nation is strong and knows its purpose. The woman is the center of everything.” (Late Elder, Art Solomon (Ojibwe), For the People: Teachings on the Natural Way) (Source – Shannon Thunderbird)

Across the past three generations in my family, it has been the women who nurtured the children and ultimately ended up as the primary economic providers. We are women of little importance when viewed from the prevailing paradigm that values material wealth, elite status, or fame – a nurse, a social worker, and a teacher. Yet each in her own ways continued to bring health, respect, kindness, and light into the lives of others.


Photo: Family Photo for my Mother’s 65th Birthday (1986)

None of our lives have not been easy, but somehow we all found the strength to carry on, to love enough to keep going, and to help others as best we could along the way. I am grateful for my mother’s example and my daughter’s courage and resilience.

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” (Eleanor Roosevelt) (Source)


Photo: The next three generations – Lake Superior 2010

I believe my granddaughter will carry on the tradition. She stopped her soccer match last evening as she knelt down to console one of the opponents who was injured. Another spectator commented that it is so like my granddaughter to stop the game in order to show compassion for another.

“A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is finished no matter how brave its warriors or how strong their weapons.” (Tsistsistas, Cheyenne) (Source – Shannon Thunderbird)

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


In the News – “Why Women Stay”

This morning, the following story was at the top of the list on Huffington Post’s website. The article speaks to the status of women in the U.S., yet it focuses on individual stories where deviant perpetrators shoulder the blame for violence. By doing so, the article reinforces the myth that abuse is somehow removed from the historical and cultural contexts that sanction violence and increasingly perpetuate oppression in systematic ways throughout social welfare policies and institutions.


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