This Mother’s Day weekend seemed normal by most counts – spending time with my mom, spending a long phone call or two with Lizzie. Yet something extraordinary happened to me this Mother’s Day weekend.
As we start the week and head out to create the future, I am feeling something I have not felt this strongly since my baby was first born 20+ years ago. While I was socially conscious at an early age, it was when I became a mom that I first felt, in every cell of my being, the power each of us has to change the world.
That single thought rang through my weekend in every way. It became a big part of my interview with Faten Abdallah of Connecting Women Radio on Saturday, as I found myself not only talking about Vision-Based Planning for communities, but vision-based child-rearing.
How do we plan the future we want to consciously create for our communities? Many people just go through the motions of life instead of consciously being aware of their environment or taking part in the community. Any advice or tips on the individual level?
As individuals – well let’s talk about being a mom. I have a 23 year old daughter. And when I was raising her, I never thought I was raising a kid. I always realized I was raising an adult, because she’s going to be an adult a lot longer than she was going to be an eight year old. “What is she going to be like when she’s 35? What is she going to be like when she’s 50?”
As individuals, then, it means consciously asking, “What future do you want to create for your family, for your community?” And then it’s backing out of that, “What do I have to put in place? What wheels do I have to put in motion to make that happen?”
The power of nurturing parenting also seemed to be a major theme in the movies I watched this weekend. And so, as my Mother’s Day Week gift to all you nurturing souls, I have a special treat – a bit of all three of the movies I watched this weekend.
And that brings us to the most powerful statement of all – the original Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe, written in 1870 in reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will 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 been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
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 does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough 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 and 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 Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace 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.
Those of us who nurture – mothers and fathers, nurturing souls who have no children – it is up to us to create a peaceful, humane, healthy, vibrant future for our world.
It’s Monday. Are you ready to take a deep breath and dive in?