Instinctive Philosophers

In college, we came across a quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe that says “Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” It’s fairly accurate and at the same time beautiful. Years later, I encountered that very same quote but this time, I noticed something different. How can one be an instinctive philosopher?

Philosophers get their knowledge by observation, thinking, and experience. Instinct comes from intuition or ‘gut-feeling’. So I gave myself a good guess that maybe it’s just one of those flattering expression to describe mothers. Thinking about my own mother, however, made me realize that maybe it is true. There were several things my mom said that sounded really crazy but turned out to be really true and helpful. Maybe mothers are instinctive philosophers. But how? And more importantly, why?

Intuition expert Simone Wright, author of First Intelligence: Using the Science and Spirit of Intuition said that a mother’s intuition is the natural, inborn intelligence that guides and supports her to deeply know, without external influence, what is truly right, and correct for her child’s best interest and well-being. Mothers are instinctive because they know the best and most natural course of action when it comes to caring for their children. Mothers have developed this intuition just like how animal mothers did. I learned this when I observed my dog who chewed away the amniotic sac surrounding her puppies. Later on I observed how she licked her puppies’ genital area repeatedly to stimulate their urinary and bowel movement. The mother didn’t learn this from someone else. The mother didn’t have a manual for this. She did it by herself, instinctively. Of course people would argue that animals have greater instinct in place of logic, but there’s enough reason to believe that our own mothers have a great deal of them too, and that’s what they use when they give us their words of wisdom.

Now don’t get me wrong, the wisdom of mothers can come from experience or reason such as telling us not to eat too many sweets. But have you ever experienced something like your mother not telling you to go outside at a certain time of the day, something which she insisted on. And it turned out that a major accident just occurred in the place where you were supposed to be? It could be as tragic and violent as that, or it could also be their nagging of you to not entertain a guy who they don’t “feel” like a good guy. I did. And I’ve heard countless of stories similar to mine. Some people attribute this to the supernatural. Some people think that mothers develop a heightened sense of intuition which can recognize and record the smallest traces of details and form them into a pattern in which they could not express logically because it’s stuck on their subconscious.

But whether or not this oracle-like wisdom comes from a magic source or a developed intuition, mothers all around the world use this because they love their child. And even when some of their philosophy turns out wrong or out of context, once you think about it, you’ll always end up nodding your head when you hear someone say “#mothersknowbest.”

As part of our Mother’s Day extravaganza, we have prepared a few tips for mothers who write From Spatula to Pen Even Mothers Can Write Page 64. Also, we ask some authors about the inherent and significant challenges of motherhood in America today Page 52. Please do comment your own answers in the threads. We’d love to have your answers inspire others to do the same.

Along with dads and parental figures, Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!