To enlarge, click anywhere in the poem.
I didn’t know this word, as a word, a noun that describes a way of living & of being in the world, until recently.
& when I did meet it, it was in an adjective form, in an article by George Lakoff, who made what I think is the most important & most fecund sociopsychological distinction of our times, between two basic forms (I’d also call them models) of family life – the Strict Father family and the Nurturant Parent family – underlying the two radically opposed moral worldviews he calls ‘conservative’ & ‘progressive’, & which I think I’d rather call ‘right’ & ‘left’.
I don’t know if Lakoff discusses these two forms historically. I had a strict father but became a nurturant parent without even knowing the word, & I see our children & many of their generation becoming nurturant parents.
I think the appearance of the nurturant parent family is a new stage in our human evolution, sparked by the revolution of consciousness that began in our world in the 1960s.
I wanted to make a meme, to highlight & spread the word, but thought first to google it. Lo & behold, according to a wiki graph it appears to come into use after World War II, towards the 1950s, rises rapidly thru our hippy ‘60s & keeps ascending quite nicely until what looks like around 9/11/2001 & its aftermaths, then begins to drop just as rapidly, to a halfway plateau but I don’t know how far after 2010. I do know that the more we see & hear & read & think & say & live by this word there will be more very badly needed nurturance to go around.
My friend Sabyasachi Chatterjee today posted on Facebook a status with a six-month old report I hadn’t seen till now (see below).