Mothers make the world a better place
Monday, May 13, 2013 9:47 AM
I know this appears belated. One of the things you have to deal with writing for a weekly newspaper is delayed publication. I'll have you know I wrote this three days before Mother's Day. I think it still counts for something.
In the beautifully diverse world we live in, holidays serve humans well. They act as helpful reminders of values, events and people whom we can so easily take for granted the rest of the year. They help us reflect. They help us consciously reconnect with thoughts and feelings we desire to keep with us at all times. The holiday itself isn't important, rather it is what is celebrated or remembered.
For example, I can celebrate the United States' independence every single day. This doesn't mean I sate my pyromania or coat the inside of my mouth with charcoaled food every single day. These are just traditions. The significance attached to them, such as the celebration of liberty and freedom, mean a lot more. Those ideas, feelings and attitudes are what can be carried with a person every single day. Through our daily actions and thoughts, we are still able to remember and celebrate those holidays and what they stand for in our lives.
But we as humans tend to forget quickly. We lose sight of those important values and ideas through the rest of the year. For myself, I always feel the child-like joy, wonder and peace when Christmas comes around. However, I manage to inadequately maintain that perspective, so Christmas helps refresh that perspective.
The list of important holidays and reasons why I value them stretches on. I appreciate Mother's Day for the feelings and values it reminds me of as well.
When I was younger, I used to fret about not making the perfect card for my mom. In fact, I still do, which is why I need to make sure this column is extra gushy by the end or else I won't be able to use it in place of a card!
That previous statement was made in good fun. However, those feelings of being obliged to give my mother something representative of my love were largely misplaced when I was younger. While I knew I loved my mom, I was giving her a card largely because it was the socially acceptable thing to do. I was following the commercialized culture of the day, which accompanies every major holiday. Instead, I needed to tap into those thoughts and feelings represented by the day: feelings of love, obedience, respect and many others.
I'm better than I once was at having the right intent during a holiday such as Mother's Day. Perhaps that has come through my discovery that I can keep the same perspective from a holiday and try to incorporate it into every day of my life. The holiday ends. The feelings, ideas and values don't have to. After all, human emotion and attachment are more important than cards and flowers. They last as long as we are willing to maintain them in our lives.
It's the blessing of getting older: realizing your parents were right. It's cliché, but true in many cases. It's also a blessing to realize that you truly love someone as much as you routinely say you do. In my own life, I've continued to have the personally humbling and joyful experience of realizing just how much I truly love my own family and my mother especially. It hasn't made less the love I've felt in the past years, it's only deepened it.
If there is one thing you take away from this column, maybe it would be a desire to more fully love your mother or a motherly person in your life. We all come from different life experiences and, unfortunately, that means many people have not had a positive maternal influence in their life. Hopefully, someone, somewhere and at sometime has been a mother to you.
What is a mother? I'm not one, but I have been blessed to know quite a few. Mothers bring life into the world. Mothers nurture and help the ones for which they care to grow and develop. They are truly selfless. Mothers love, they understand, they forgive, and they love again. A mother is always beautiful because she brings beauty to the world around her. Indeed, mothers make the world a better place.
Thank her not because the Hallmark channel said to for only $3.99 (plus tax). Thank her for your own reasons. The challenge will then be to remember those reasons the next day, the next month and in the coming years.
Mothers, thank you.
Mom, thank you. I love you.