Saturday, May 12, 2007

Back Link Mother’s Day, Peace Day

Tammy from Ann Arbour, Michigan, just sent me the text to Julia Ward Howe’s “Mother's Day Proclamation”. Julia Ward Howe was a social activist and poet. She wrote the proclamation in 1870 as an appeal to the women of the world to unite for peace. Tammy, as an American, sent the piece because she couldn’t help but notice how contemporary Ms. Howe’s message is.

Mother's Day Proclamation, by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered 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 voice of a 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 our 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 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.

A few days ago, I wrote how my celebration of Mother’s Day over the years usually followed the Hallmark company guidelines and, thus, they were very unfulfilling. After watching the video and reading the text, I decided this year to celebrate Mother’s Day as whole-heartedly as possible, in a manner that will, hopefully, encourage and create peace. So, while walking around town this morning, I came up with the following list of possible ways to celebrate tomorrow in a somewhat grander way than I’ve previously done, back in my Hallmark company guideline days:

As a woman: spend some time reading the words of other women engaged in the courageous act of giving counsel (here and here),

As a mother: tell my children how much I love them and how their beings light up my life, cook a tasty meal, say a prayer of thanks,

As a wife: express some gesture of acknowledgement for his loving and generous nature,

As a friend: go out on a long walk with my walking buddy, call up a friend whose life is miserable and listen (this time) with patience and understanding, write some letters to dear friends far away,

As a daughter: spend some solitary time consciously contemplating/ remembering the good times spent with my mother, pick out a jewel of a moment and share it back with my mother,

As a member of my local community: spend some time in the school this week helping a class with their new blogging project concerning special needs children, invite my neighbour’s daughter over whose mother has to work,

As a member of our global community: send some (monetary) encouragement to those living in countries that have suffered or are suffering the rages of war, who are working hard for economical and financial independence (here).

And for a complete history of Mother's Day, which is interesting reading for any who have time... (here).


Anonymous tammy from ann arbor, michigan said...

I loved your ideas about celebrating Mother's Day. Over the past few years I have developed a "bah-humbug!" attitude towards this "holiday" and have been uncomfortable with it. But making it a day to think of, pray for, and find ways to extend a helping hand to other mother's in need creates new meaning for me. The video you posted was fantastic - thank you.

I also find it interesting that so many other women seem to be coming to the same conclusions this year.

12 May, 2007 20:02  

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