While growing up and throughout our journey into adulthood, we have had the privilege to be surrounded by many women of amazing intelligence, strength, and courage. If we pay attention, we don’t have to look for outside sources of inspiration; as we have them right in front of us – in the form of our mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers, or the woman in our neighborhood who always greets us with a smile even though she’s had a bad day.
Sometimes, we get caught up in our lives and forget to appreciate the women in our lives and around us. So, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023, let’s take a moment to reflect on the women of wisdom by revisiting some of their profound quotes. In addition, we will explore some classic novels and movies written or directed by women that older adults can enjoy at home or in assisted living facilities.
20 quotes from various women of wisdom
Many women of wisdom throughout the course of history have shared meaningful and inspiring quotes that have been passed down through generations. These sayings allowed us a passage into their brilliant minds, compassionate hearts, and unfaltering strength. Here are 20 quotes that perfectly capture the wisdom of women.
- “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any” – Alice Walker
- ‘‘Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.’’ – Marie Curie
- “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away” – Maya Angelou
- “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart
- “Don’t compromise yourself – you are all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin
- “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf
- “If you were born with the weakness to fall, you were born with the strength to rise.” – Rupi Kaur
- “These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” – Najwa Zebian
- “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde
- “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King
- “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland
- “If you are someone who still carries hope in your heart, kindness in your eyes and generosity in your fingertips despite terrible people happening to you, thank you. You are one of the few truly pure things left in this world, and you deserve to be protected.” – Nikita Gill
- “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- “Don’t build a wall around your suffering. It may devour you from the inside.” – Frida Kahlo
- “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
- “I am thankful for my struggle because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strength.” – Alexandra Elle
- “If you truly pour your heart into what you believe in, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen.” – Emma Watson
- ‘‘There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.’’ – Jane Austen
- ‘‘you can be kind, but strong. Empathetic, but decisive. Optimistic, but focused. That you can be your own kind of leader – one that knows when it’s time to go.’’ – Jacinda Ardern
- “Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.” – Brigitte Bardot
Classic books by women to read on International Women’s Day 2023
From authors such as Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and George Eliot to modern writers like Margaret Eleanor Atwood and Toni Morrison, classic books by women have been around for centuries. Each of these literary works offers insight into different times and perspectives. Here is a list of some of our personal favorites to enjoy on the occasion of Women’s Day!
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee’s literary classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, is one of the most widely acclaimed and beloved classic books of all time. This Pulitzer Prize-winning book follows the story of a young Alabama girl named Scout Finch and her father, Atticus Finch, who defends an African American man accused of rape during the 1930s. His actions spark the trials and tribulations that the Finch family must endure. To Kill a Mockingbird is a powerful reminder of racial and societal injustice.
2. Jane Eyre
In this timeless classic, Charlotte Brontë tells the story of a young woman who strives for independence and love against all odds. Jane Eyre is a powerful portrait of an individual’s struggle to define their identity while overcoming societal expectations and limitations. Brontë’s passionate and compelling narrative makes this book a must-read for anyone interested in women’s literature.
3. Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie is one of the world’s most popular and best-selling authors. Her classic whodunit, Murder on the Orient Express, is an iconic classic of detective fiction. The novel follows Belgian detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates a murder on board the famous train. With its intricate plot and classic characters, this book is sure to keep you guessing until the very end.
4. The Diary of a Young Girl
The Diary of a Young Girl, written by Anne Frank, is an autobiographical novel that follows the life of a Jewish girl living in Amsterdam during World War II. It is one of the best-selling historical novels of all time and is a powerful reminder of the atrocities of war and the courage of everyday people.
5. The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath’s classic novel The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical account of her own mental health problems. The story follows the protagonist Esther Greenwood, who struggles with depression and struggles to find her place in the world. Through this novel, Plath examines the issues of identity, gender roles, and mental illness in a thoughtful and honest way. It can also be a great read for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or any other mental health issues to draw inspiration from.
6. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin tells the heart-wrenching story of a black man and his family’s struggles for freedom in a racially divided America. Uncle Tom’s Cabin painted a vivid picture of the struggles faced by African Americans in an unjust society. Published over 160 years ago, this influential story sparked passion and compassion that eventually ignited change – leading to The Civil War, which abolished slavery in America forever.
7. The Price of Salt
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith is one of the groundbreaking coming-of-age stories of love, self-discovery, and courage. The novel follows Therese Belivet, a young aspiring photographer in 1950s New York who falls in love with an older woman named Carol Aird, who is trapped in a tremulous marriage. Through many adversities of a then intolerant society, both women ultimately learn to stand up for themselves and take control of their lives. The book was adapted into a movie titled Carol in 2015, which also became a modern-day classic.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a Gothic novel that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, who creates an artificial man from pieces of corpses. The creature is initially kind and gentle, but after an encounter with violence and rejection from society, he turns malevolent and begins to seek revenge on his creator. In this mold-breaking novel, Shelley captures powerful emotions such as fear, rage and pity while exploring themes of abandonment, social prejudice and justice.
9. The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic by Margaret Atwood. In this novel, Atwood imagines a dystopian society where women are stripped of their rights and freedom. The story follows Offred, a handmaid in the oppressive society, as she attempts to navigate her new reality and survive in this new world. Atwood’s classic novel is an important exploration of feminism, power dynamics and gender roles.
What are some of the best movies directed by women?
From award-winning dramas to light-hearted comedies to thought-provoking documentaries, women-directed movies have been making an undeniable impact on the film industry for decades. Here are some of the most acclaimed movies directed by women.
1. The Hurt Locker
With her 2008 drama “The Hurt Locker,” Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman ever to win an Academy Award for Best Director. Set in Iraq in 2003, this intense war thriller follows an elite Army bomb squad on their dangerous mission to defuse bombs during wartime. Featuring intense action and a nail-biting climax, “The Hurt Locker” is an unforgettable movie experience.
2. Little Women (2019)
Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women’ is a beloved tale about ambition, love, family dynamics, and personal growth that has been adapted multiple times into movies, musicals, and TV series. It tells the story of four sisters growing up during the Civil War era in New England. The latest movie adaptation was done by one of the most gifted filmmakers of this generation, Greta Gerwig, which beautifully depicts the essence of the novel. The movie also earned her multiple Academy Awards nominations and wins.
3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is one of the most loved women-directed movies of recent years. Written and directed by Céline Sciamma, the movie is a sweeping historical romance set in 18th-century France. In the movie, a portrait painter named Marianne is appointed to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has refused all previous suitors. The two women develop a deep connection that challenges the conventions of the time.
4. The Matrix (1999)
1999’s The Matrix, is a modern science fiction classic written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski. The film follows Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a computer hacker who discovers that the world he lives in is actually a simulated reality created by machines. As Neo, he then joins forces with a rebel group to fight against this oppressive system. The Matrix features groundbreaking special effects and has earned numerous awards and accolades.
With Nomadland, director Chloé Zhao made history as the first woman of Asian descent and only the second woman ever to win an Oscar for Best Director. This 2020 drama follows a woman (played by Frances McDormand) traveling the United States in her van and confronting life’s unexpected challenges. It is an inspiring tale of resilience, exploring themes of loneliness and the power of the human spirit.
6. Helen Keller in Her Story
Helen Keller in Her Story, directed by Nancy Hamilton, is one of the most acclaimed documentaries that follows the life of American author Helen Keller. Born deaf and blind due to a mysterious illness, the documentary walks us through how she overcame her disabilities to become an internationally recognized advocate for equality and civil rights. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1986.
7. Wonder Woman (2017)
With Wonder Woman (2017), Patty Jenkins broke the mold as she directed the first major studio film to be directed by a woman and starring a female superhero. Wonder Woman tells the story of Diana (played by Gal Gadot), an Amazonian princess who leaves her home in Themyscira to help protect the world from Ares, the God of War. It also became one of the highest-grossing DC movies of all time.
8. Selma (2014)
Emmy winner Ava DuVernay directed this stirring 2014 drama about Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. David Oyelowo does a masterful job as Dr. Luther King. The movie depicts the struggles of the African American community as they marched for their civil rights and fought racial inequality. It is an excellent movie to watch on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023.
9. Lost in Translation
In 2003, Sofia Coppola directed “Lost in Translation,” a movie about two strangers who meet in Tokyo and form an unlikely connection. Starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, this charming drama is a testament to the power of friendship and human connection. So, if you are looking for a movie that is sure to make you laugh, cry, and feel uplifted, Lost in Translation would be a perfect choice.
As International Women’s Day 2023 approaches, we hope these women’s words of wisdom, books, and novels provide you with some source of inspiration and good times. These are just a few examples of the amazing women out there who have made a difference. Please feel free to share your favorite quotes, books, or movies by other talented women that we missed on our list.
So, do you have any inspiring stories about the women of wisdom in your life who’s helped shape your life? Let us know in the comments below!
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- What are the sources of wisdom?
The sources of wisdom can come from a variety of places. However, experience is probably the most obvious source of wisdom. Experience can provide us with invaluable insight into how to navigate life and the situations we face.
In addition, wisdom can be gained through observing other people. We can learn from those around us who are wiser or more experienced than us by asking questions, listening to advice, and watching how they act or react to different scenarios.
We can also acquire collective knowledge by reading books, watching movies, or any other form of art that contain wisdom passed down for generations. Finally, some people may find themselves gaining wisdom from their spiritual journey.
- Who is the best-selling female author of all time?
One of the best-selling authors of all time and THE best-selling female author of all time is Agatha Christie. She was an English mystery novelist, short story writer, and playwright who wrote over 66 detective novels and 14 short stories. Her books and novels have sold over two billion copies worldwide. She also holds the Guinness World Record of being the most-translated author of all time.
- What is the name of the wisest woman in the Bible?
There is mention of several women of wisdom in Bibel, but Abigail is considered to be the wisest woman in the Bible. She was the wife of a man named Nabal, and she lived during the time of King David’s reign over Israel. Abigail is often referred to as one of the most remarkable women in Scripture for her quick wit and unyielding loyalty to God.
Apart from that, King Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, is also widely believed to be one of the wisest women in the Bible. She was a key figure in the court of King David, and it is said that her wise counsel led him to success as a ruler.
Another wise female figure in the Bible is known as The Wise Woman of Abel. She was an unnamed figure who appeared in the Hebrew Bible. Notably featured in 2 Samuel 20, She was a woman of great wisdom who used her knowledge to solve a dispute between Joab and Sheba’s followers.