A Little Nourishment from Food for Thought


Humanity… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so often inspired by other bloggers and today is no exception.

valeriedavies in the Food for Thought section of her blog today quoted Lynne Twist who is a global activist, fundraiser, speaker, consultant, coach and author dedicated to global initiatives that serve humanity. She said:

“The feminine principle is the eagerness to collaborate rather than compete, it is the eagerness to relate rather than stand out as an individual, it is the longing for harmony and community and caring and nurturing.”

I like this principle but would like to add that competition and individualism strengthen us so that we can be caring and nurturing, and create harmony and community. I contend that competition provides us with some of the hard knocks that make us capable; and we must recognize ourselves as an individual before we can be of service to others.

I think that the principle of humanity is the longing for harmony and community and caring and nurturing. I define humanity as humankind with the emphasis on kind. If we embody the noun-ness of humanity we take in kindness, charity, compassion, sympathy and mercy (or so says my thesaurus). These are not just feminine attributes; they are the attributes of goodness.

The principle outlined by Twist is not just a feminine one; it is one of humanity. I may have my rose-coloured glasses on today, but sometimes we need to celebrate the fact that  while some may think the world is going to hell in a handbag ~ we cannot succumb to that kind of negativity—for if we do, we are surely going down a dark and twisted path.

What do you think?

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38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. An interesting blog, LouAnn, especially if you’re in that space where it feels as if ‘the world’s going to hell in a handbag’. We should consider ourselves as well as others – as individuals in our own right – maintaining the nurturing side of our nature – terribly generalised, I fear, but the best I can do just now …

    • generalization is sometimes the best answer–I agree with you that we need to maintain our nurturing side–if we do we are not as likely to blow people up

  2. Sound thinking.

    • thanks Ben–never been accused of that before–ha ha–glad to be accused of it though

  3. I agree that humankind equals compassion whether it be from the feminine side or just a ‘human’ one. And with having that nature I think it implies a positive outlook on life. If we dwell on the negative aspects of life how on earth can we be an encourager and give hope to those who need it so badly… Diane

    • that is exactly what I was trying to get across–you said it so much better than I did!

  4. I like your emphasis on “kind” in humankind. Thought provoking blog, Lou.

    • thanks Peg–now that is enough thought provoking stuff–enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  5. I also look for harmony, community, caring and nurturing and endeavor to find it and encourage it as much as possible. A little competition can be a good thing along the way – it helps encourage the best in us.

    • I think you have described the perfect combination here–encouraging the best in us brings out our caring

  6. I so agree, LouAnn. I think the best competition is that within our selves – in a healthy way – to do our best and that then outpictures as positive. Interesting that you would quote Lynn Twist. I’m currently reading her wonderful book “The Soul of Money.” I highly recommend it!

    • I will find it and read it–I think too often competition is looked on in a bad light, when in truth there are many ways to look at it

  7. Collaboration is the way forward!

  8. Lovely post! Good food for thought. I would always pick collaboration over competition. I have always been thinking along such lines of thought with those exact words.
    Competition has it’s role in creating a drive, yet collaboration truly brings out the best in us and grants us fulfilment.
    In tests, we can compete, but in life, we must collaborate. Two are better than one.
    I would say it again; “Lovely post” 🙂

    • thank you so much–and I like the way you break down competition and collaboration–exactly what I was trying to say–you just said it much more succinctly

  9. Nothing wrong with wearing rose colored glasses sometimes. I think that’s what helps keep us sane. Although there may be too much hate or bad in this world – there is also love & good.

    • I can count on you to don your rose coloured glasses with me–we do not deny there is hate and bad; but we celebrate the good and love all the same

      • Indeed!
        Cheers 🙂 🙂

  10. “…we must recognize ourselves as an individual before we can be of service to others.” –> I completely agree with this sentiment. It’s a fine line between focusing on ourselves and getting self-absorbed but as you said, we need to learn to be the best we can before we can do our best for other people. Lots and lots of fantastic food for thought here in this post.

    • thanks so much–we do need to learn to be the best we can be or we cannot do anything for anyone else

  11. So interesting to read this debate over Lynn Twist’s words, LouAnn.. it also shows me how we all interpret words differently… in that I took out of her words that the feminine principle is a quality that both men and women have, just as they both have a masculine principle – anima- animus…
    Yes, I love the idea of collaboration – which to me seems to mean everyone working together for the highest good of everyone !
    Great how you took up this quote and ran with it !!!!

    • thank you again for the quote to run with–I think you and I are on the same page as to its meaning–I just took it in another direction

  12. I like to think that my biggest competition is with myself to be better each day and to do the best I can in anything I do. Community is important to me, but I don’t think we can have community without compassion,caring and a nurturing attitude. Great post, I read it earlier this morning but found it too deep to adequately absorb until I had more time to wake fully. 🙂

    • I know, I read some things and they have to sink in a bit before I have a comment–I like your idea of competition

  13. Hmmm…for myself, I look for harmony and collaboration. I do not like competition! I like win/win. I don’t know if this is common to humanity as a whole…I do believe this tendency crosses gender lines. I’ve know men as well as women who look for harmony. Maybe this is an area of life that takes all kinds? ~ Sheila

    • Exactly, as Valerie said in her comment feminine and masculine principles are what we are all made up of

  14. I wish more people remembered the kind aspect of humankind. It isn’t that hard to be nice, but some people struggle with the concept.

  15. Couldn’t have said it any better.

  16. I am a proto-feminist. My mom taught us girls to get a trade and not depend on a man to “make us comfy.” “Hey, if you find one, good for you, but always have a fallback position, because sometimes, men can be naughty.”

    My bumpersticker sums it up this way: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” So some will be competitive; some were not born with that gene; some will take the hard knocks and love it, while others will shrink away. The main thing is, be the full person you want to be. That’s how I raised my daughter, and that’s how I was raised.

    I definitely understand your wanting to expand on those thoughts of feminism. As a decidedly non-competitive person in the classic sense (I’m a cheerful loser at any competition), I must say, when it comes to activism for the betterment of others’ lives, then I guess it might kick in a bit…

    Thanks again, Amy

    • I was not raised to see that there was a difference in how men and women should be treated–boy was I surprised when I found out others did not believe as I did or was brought up–my mom and her mom were feminists whether they wore the moniker or not–and that was, as they say–back in the day–

  17. A very thought provoking post, Lou Ann. I think the perfect balance is a hard thing to achieve.

    • me too–we just have to settle for less than perfection–if we ever reached perfection then what would we have to reach for?

  18. FYI: As the Queen of Bliss, I though of you when I saw this fabulous report on CBS last night. Enjoy.

    • thank you for that – you just turned my day around Frank–and the fact that you thought of me was also very heartwarming

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