Earlier this year, IrishCentral and Herstory asked the world "What does it mean to be an Irish woman?" and the results of our survey were beautiful and surprising.

We wanted to reach out to women on the island of Ireland and the Irish diaspora at large to find out what makes the venerable Irish woman tick. We asked them about their influences, life lessons, and how they feel connected to the island of Ireland.

The IrishCentral and Herstory survey had responses from all over the United States, and from Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. 

These are just some of the Irish community's responses to the question...

What wisdom did your Mammy and grandmother pass down to you?

"Always be kind."

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"A couple of gems I have used wisely over years.

"Don't ever let the sunset on an argument. Don't judge others because you don't know what their story is.

"Watch out for street angels and house devils.

"If you're not sure, step hard on their toes to see their reaction before you commit.

"What's in sober, comes out drunk Be kind where you can but don't be a fool. And you most saged of all... laugh and be happy, life is too short for misery all the time."

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"My mammy gave me joys beyond words. I think of her every single day, a powerful little dynamo."

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"To be strong and independent."

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"I learned the folklore and the richness of Irish connection with the spirit works and nature. I learned to visualize what I want. I was taught that anyone can do anything. Visited Ireland once and cannot wait to return!"

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"How to make sure I made space for myself in world. She taught me to feel confident in speaking up for myself."

A mother's wisdom: "To be strong and independent."

A mother's wisdom: "To be strong and independent."

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"My grandmother, who raised me, taught me to get a good education and job skills so that I could be self-sufficient and not dependent on anyone else.

"She taught me to trust my heart and the wisdom that messages in nature reveal to us as the seasons change. She taught me kindness and respect above all else."

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"Some of her final words to me were 'why did I believe them for so long?' In the decade since I have come to see the 'them' she spoke about and the Invisible politics of patriarchy that is beyond gender and is systemic from the world stage to the family unit."

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"Mostly to never give up. No matter how hard, day or night, 24/7, keep going no matter what. Also the importance of prayer."

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"That a good education is the first step on any path. And lots of baking tips."

A mother's wisdom: "Always be kind."

A mother's wisdom: "Always be kind."

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"That resilience isn't enough. Resilience accepts discrimination and survives through it. Resilience is still accepting patriarchal ways. I don't want to be resilient I want to 'be', thrive, and continue the ripples of intersectional and ecological change in my community."

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"Learn everything you can but don't let the man know you can do it."

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"Remember people can take everything from you but never lose your dignity.

"Give them enough rope and eventually, they will hang themselves."

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"Always be strong speak up for yourself and those who do not have a voice."

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"To always remember who you are, where you came from and never take advantage of anyone or anything. Learn everything you can from all possible sources."

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"I can do anything when I really work at it, including solving problems in life and be a very loving, humble, and kind person with everyone."

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"The importance of family and stories. I'd sit with her and beg her to keep telling stories! Usually about family who I never met or stories from when adults were children."

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"Patience and the beauty of being gentle. I have slivers of her life, it was not easy. Yet she led her tribe with such calm acceptance and love in every situation."