The International Mother’s Day is being celebrated or observed on this day in different countries of the world. Children show love and respect particularly on this day as a mark of their gratefulness and love for their dear mothers.
However, as some think, this day in the West these days is getting commercialised to a great extent. This happens with other occasions and festivals, religious or social, too in all societies. The transcendental relationship between mother and her children is a universal natural concept and praxis. She is the embodiment of affection and love and care for her children. Nothing or none is like her!
Mother is another word for selfless love. That love is like a circle as a circle does not have any beginning or any ending. In Islamic and Hindu societies we hear people saying ‘Children’s heaven is under the feet of mothers’. It is needless to say that this cannot be taken as literally true. But the idea is that a mother is like heavenly bless. Mothers all over the world have to shed blood and tears for giving birth to their children. They embody life, love and purity in our lives. They incarnate the Creator’s care for us. They give and nurse and nurture life. The Roman Catholic nun Therese of Lisieux said, “The loveliest master piece of the heart of God is the love of a mother”. She never became a mother, but she admired and respected the motherhood so deeply that in memory of her beloved mother she could make such a grand observation.
Out of our patriotism we say our country or land as our mother. What does our mother give us? Our motherland gives us everything: food, shelter, air, water, freedom, dream, hopes and aspiration, rights to live and all that implies. When we see the stateless or homeless people presently the million Rohingya Muslim people from Rakhine province of Myanmar we can imagine how it is to be evicted from ones mother land. We talk of ‘mother earth’ on whom we breathe, live and have our being; we walk and work on the breast of our beloved mother earth just as we did the same when we were babies in our mothers’ lap and on their chest sucking their breast for our nourishment and growth. We felt comfortable and secure when we were with our mothers. Our mother’s wombs were the first and the securest place before we were born to this earth, which serves as our earth-womb. We may mention how the Prophet-King David thought about his sense of total security and peacefulness when he wrote these words in Psalm: “... But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” He compared his experience of peace and safety granted by God with the experience of peace and safety that a suckling babe enjoys when he is just weaned and is sleeping by his mother’s side!
A Spanish proverb has it that an ounce of mother is worth a ton of priests. W. R. Wallace said these well known words, “The hands that rock the cradle are the hands that rule the world.” Abraham Lincoln likened his mother to a heavenly angel, and he is said to have remarked, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
So this is a mother with all her creativity, care and infinite grace and tenderness and unfathomable and unbounded love for her children. No exceptionally rare exceptions should deviate for a moment from this universal truth, however.
Yet, how much many of us do internalise and practically manifest our love and rightly or justly treat our mothers in our day to day life. It is our utterly regrettable experience that some people do not live up to the norm. Many children do not care for their elderly parents as they should even those who are able to do so from the material point of view. There are those who are not able to do so because of lack of material ability due to poverty even when they have the proper mind-set for and genuine love for their parents. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. This diversity is rather painful. In the Western countries most children keep their elderly parents in organised and well managed elderly people’s homes run by states or communities. But everything pales in comparison to genuine love for our parents. It is they got us into this world as the fruit of their love. A mother accepts and welcomes the very life of her child, house the helpless tiny body, yet-unformed or formed, in her womb with maximum love and affection. It is no less a being than the Almighty God, who creates that inmost being, knits all that together in the mother’s womb, keeps an eye on the unformed bodies so that they are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Even God needs and chooses a woman to create life within life. And she is the Mother, who reflects, incarnates and also transfers the Creator’s divine love in her child. We cannot love our mothers enough! But we love and we should love our mothers always. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!
The writer is a Christian Theology teacher and a church leader.