Happy Mother’s Day! Today I am honoring mothers, because I am in awe of motherhood: how they multitask, know their children, nurture, solve problems, ease pain with a kiss and a cuddle, and continually give from a bottomless pit of unconditional love.
And I can write a whole post about it, but instead I wanted to turn attention to the real reason for honoring mothers on Mother’s Day: to promote peace.
Mother’s day began when mothers gathered together to stop war. In the US, it began during the Civil War with such generous spirits as Ann Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe. Their mission: to stop “Our children killing other mother’s children.”
Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe, 1870
The First Mother’s Day proclaimed in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe
was a passionate demand for disarmament and peace.
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears!
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!”
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail & commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesars but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
When Mother Theresa was accepting the Nobel Prize, someone asked her “What can we do to promote world peace?” She answered, “Go home and love your family.” It starts in our home, people. Let’s do our part in honoring mothers across the globe and throughout history to do this!
Six Ways to Promote Peace Starting Right in Your Home, Community
1. Say “I love you.”
People cannot hear this enough. I makes them feel worthy, connected. This has the ability lift them out of sadness and anger that might have had them being mean to someone else.
2. Forgive someone.
See them as more than their offense. See yourself as more than what happened. Let go of resentment that just hurts you.
3. Hug someone.
Physical affection can be so healing.
4. Break down the competition metaphor.
We are constantly worried that we are not good enough and compete to make ourselves feel better. Let your children understand this phenomenon so that they can make different choices. Competition is always lose-lose in the end.
5. Acknowledge people.
Notice them, compliment them, or point out something positive. We are quick to complain, then forget to compliment. Change this around. Heal them.
6. Ask questions.
Learn about people who you don’t know: people from different countries, different religions. Understand what starts conflict and voice your ideas to companies and politicians.
What are you doing this Mother’s Day to promote peace?