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.



About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
This entry was posted in Adversity and Resilience and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Women of Substance and Heart

  1. What a wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cindy knoke says:

    Love your family of awesome women!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful tribute to womanhood, Carol. Women hold the future of the world in their hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really lovely quotes~ You are a very strong, compassionate woman and clearly have passed that down through your daughter and granddaughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dolphin says:

    Reblogged this on Dolphin.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting in Stop Thief: the Theft of the Commons (http://stuartjeannebramhall.com/2015/08/25/privatization-and-the-theft-of-the-commons/), Richard Linebaugh talks about European women being banned from their usual occupations as part of the enclosure movement. In many areas, women were restricted to brewing and spinning (which is how unmarried women came to be known as spinsters). Women who tried to engage in forbidden occupations (especially healing arts) were burned at the stake as witches.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fascinating history, Stuart. Although fewer positions are forbidden, the assimilative pressures are onerous and often effective…

      (I was just re-reading the history of colonial attacks on the status of women in Native American cultures. Missionaries and colonial leaders were horrified by the power of women and began the long, dedicated assault to gender equality.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Kate Houck says:

    You are an inspiring group of women. Thank you for sharing the stories and photos! Kate

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I absolutely adored the profound quotes that you cited. They embody the feeling that I have how woman have been targeted in our society today.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great quotes. IMO, you’re a family of great women, service and enlightenment.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rajagopal says:

    Your observations, and the quotes, are profoundly true, Carol. A culture that respects women prospers, while the one that does not, perishes. Kudos to the generations of dignified women in your family. If your time permits, I should like you to visit my site to read my posts titled, ‘Only Women’ and ‘An Ocean of Compassion’…best wishes.. Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Equality 333 says:

    Great to see compassion at a young age, it’s needed more than ever these days!

    Liked by 1 person

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