A woman presides over the fountains of life, all life—both male and female.
She impregnates every human being with the qualities of her soul. Into the very woof of existence she weaves the shreds of her own being. Woman’s soul colors, forms, molds, modifies, endows the soul of humanity. It is so. It must be so. The infant-mind sleeps in the mother-mind till all its powers are set and their tendencies established.
The child-being is subject to every mood of mind and state of body which exists in the mother-being. Then the early twig is nurtured and the early blossom unfolded on woman’s bosom. Woman performs the first work of culture, imparts the first ideas, awakens the first thoughts, aspirations, and emotions, stirs the first tides of feeling, and wields the first scepter in the minds of all men. In a secondary sense, she is the maker of all men. This being the primary fact of human existence, her education is the first work in human progress. To cultivate her is to cultivate the race. To elevate and dignify her is to elevate and dignify the world.
As she goes up she bears every thing human with her. Depress her, and the world sinks. If you would ennoble and dignify the world, do this for its women, and the work is done. If you legislate for the world, legislate for woman. If you would educate the world, educate woman. If you would give freedom to the world, give it to woman.
If you would redeem the world, redeem woman. The world lies in her arms. She nurtures it on her bosom; she rocks it in her cradle; she breathes into it the breath of its mental life. Above her it can not rise. She is the fountain, and the stream rises not above it. What woman is in any nation or age, the people of that nation or age will be. Noble women give nobility to the sphere of action and influence in which they move.
Genius, worth, mental and moral power, owe more to woman than to all things else. If I wished to bless the world, I should bless woman. If I wished to sweeten a stream, I should mingle the sweet in its fountain. If I wished to make an oak strong, I would put water and nourishment at its roots. If I wished to rear me a noble horse, I should take care that its mother possessed the strength and qualities I wished in the animal. It is clear to my mind, if we would do a good thing for mankind, we must do it for woman.
Woman should be unshackled, her soul set free, her ambition awakened, her nobility developed, her strength nurtured, her mind educated, her normal sense quickened, her consciences sanctified, her affections taught to wind their tendrils about all that is noble.
– George Sumner Weaver
(I tried to call my Mom after I read this lecture but she was out of reach. If she ever goes online, I hope she gets to read this. Thank you, Nay.)