Did Hallmark hijack what was intended to be something much different than it has become? Maybe not just Hallmark, and we may never know how the evolution of this holiday truly happened – but we do know that it wasn’t always like this…
It was in 1870 that Julia Ward Howe of Boston MA, an avid abolitionist, suffragist and peace activist came up with the idea of bringing the MOTHERS together to make some political changes. I’ll let her words speak for themselves as they say it all…
Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of 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 been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We 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 is not the balance of justice.” Blood does 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 and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, 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.
Julia was connecting with what may be the strongest natural force known to life – that of a mother needing to protect her children.
When she wrote this proclamation – the industrial revolution was in full swing, creating horrifying living conditions for so many. The “freed” slaves were just beginning to try to make it on their own, with little to no education, with little true rights allowed to them – an ‘equality” that almost 150 years later has still not been realized. Families everywhere were still mourning the great losses from brutal and bloody wars.
It was a dismal time in U.S. history – and Julia had just had enough of it. Enough of leaving the important collective life decisions to people who obviously were not doing it well.
She had a brilliant idea of calling the women to come together – to meet – to brainstorm – to call on the creative and love-based, heart driven MOTHERS – TO COME UP WITH A BETTER PLAN. A plan that would eliminate the unnecessary loss of their children for ambiguous and greed driven political agendas.
I feel so connected with Julia – from the first time I learned of her. I looked at every photo – read every word…and relate to the urgency that she felt in STOPPING the violence NOW. Of bringing what should be NORMAL living conditions to all people.
This Mothers Day – I am especially sad because I am without many of my children. The details of which I may write in a separate post at another time – but for now – I can tell you that 3 of my children and I are apart against our will. Separated by a new kind of war. One waged through a system that has become a brutal beast, feasting on the blood and life of our children and of us.
And, like Julia so many years ago – I say ENOUGH!! It needs to stop NOW.
What can we do? It seems that this monster has grown so big that it can no longer be contained, and like Godzilla in the old school movies I used to watch as a child – is crushing everything in its path. How can we fight that?
Yet, I believe that there are still things we can do. First, we must not lose hope. Second, we must set it as a PRIORITY to do EVERYTHING in our power to bring about peace in our world.
We can begin by conceiving, growing and birthing our babies in peace. Imprinting them with love and beauty and honor and hope. This may be the most POWERFUL THING we can do right now. And…it’s fairly simple to do! I have many suggestions within this blog.
As Julia believed that the greatest power to make significant changes rested within the hands and hearts of mothers – I also KNOW this to be true. And propose that we COME TOGETHER – to organize – to support one another – to strengthen one another – as this “war” is raging.
Please look into your heart. FEEL what it tells you. THERE IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN DECIDE TODAY THAT WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD AND OF HUMANITY. And from there – you will be faced with the next step..
Are you going to do it?
Look into the future and imagine your great granddaughter right now. Her eyes, familiar as they are the same color as yours, looking at you – with gratitude.
Saying “Thank you. Thank you for listening to your heart and for acting on it to make a better life for me. I know you loved me then, and I will carry your love and action to my grandchildren, continuing your legacy of peace and love, carrying it into the future – protecting and preserving a beautiful world for all living beings.”