Mother: The epitome of love 

Tasneem HossainTasneem Hossain
Published : 7 May 2022, 09:17 PM
Updated : 7 May 2022, 09:17 PM

'God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers'- Rudyard Kipling

God is the creator of everything. He gives life to animals and human beings.

He sends humans into the womb of a woman and she procreates. The moment the child comes into the mother's womb she undergoes countless hardships and ensures the safety and nourishment of the baby. We learn to communicate first with our mothers and then with everything around us. She makes us capable to cope with the harsh realities of life; selflessly sacrifices her ambitions and desires to bring us up into adulthood and takes care till she breathes her last. The invisible cord that connects us all with our mothers affects our lives in a unique way.

'When you are looking at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.' -Charley Benetto

A mother is an epitome of love, generosity and sacrifice who endures all the tribulations in life to rear up her children. Yet, these sacrifices are seldom acknowledged in this male-dominated society. Mother's Day is a special occasion to celebrate their remarkable strength and selflessness and honour their efforts.

Mother's Day is celebrated across more than 50 countries of the world to celebrate the essence of motherhood and acknowledge her love and dedication towards her family and society. It's a day which reminds people of the significance of the everlasting bond of love and affection between a mother and a child. It helps us realise the effort that goes into giving birth and rearing a new life. This is a special day for children also as it gives them an opportunity to relish the beautiful bond that they mutually share with their mothers. The day is meant to make mothers feel special and loved.

While many countries may have different dates for the celebration the common date is on the second Sunday of May every year.

Honouring mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who held colourful festivals to honour their mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

However, Anna Jervis and a few others have been instrumental in establishing Mother's Day and popularising it in the world.

In 1870, the abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe wrote the 'Mother's Day Proclamation,' which called all the mothers to unite in promoting world peace and campaigned for a "Mother's Peace Day" to be celebrated every June 2.

Juliet Calhoun Blakely, a temperance activist is another Mother's Day pioneer who inspired a local Mother's Day in Albion, Michigan, in the 1870s.

The other trailblazers are Mary Towles Sasseen and Frank Hering. Both worked to organise a Mother's Day in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hering is called by some 'the father of Mothers' Day.'

In practicality, Mother's Day in America became recognised due to the relentless efforts of a peace activist Anna Jarvis. Following her mother's death in 1905, she organised a memorial in honour of her mother in 1908 in St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. She was the first to make an effort to raise funds for the celebration of Mother's Day in the US and took steps to make the celebration a worldwide event. It was a celebration to honour the sacrifices of all the mothers for their children and their contributions to our society. In 1911, almost all the US states began celebrating the day. In 1912, Anna Jarvis used the phrase 'Second Sunday in May, Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, Founder,' and created the Mother's Day International Association to help promote her cause. By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother's Day.

Her persistence paid off in 1914 when American President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation on May 9, 1914, that the second Sunday in May will be fixed as Mother's Day and the day was declared a national holiday. As time passed, other countries like Australia and Canada also started observing this day.

Anna specifically mentioned that 'Mother' should be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their own mother, not a plural possessive observing all the mothers of the world.

Mothering Sunday, a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, honouring mother churches was celebrated since the Middle Ages in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries. Over time this tradition eventually lost its popularity and merged with American Mother's Day.

Gradually, more countries began to adopt the date to celebrate mothers. Today, more than 50 countries in the world celebrate Mother's Day as a mark of respect and honour to the woman who gives life to us. Though, traditions vary depending on the country all focus on demonstrating love and appreciation for mothers.

Most countries around the world celebrate Mother's Day including most of Europe, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Japan and New Zealand on the second Monday of May. Some Arab countries like Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia celebrate Mother's Day on March 21 (spring equinox). Some countries like the United Kingdom and Ireland celebrate the Day on the fourth Sunday during Lent and call it Mothering Sunday. Russia and many eastern and southern continental countries celebrate Mother's Day together with International Women's Day on March 8th.

In Bangladesh, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday. This year, 2022, it falls on May 8. The day isn't a public holiday.

On this day, different organisations supporting the cause of mothers organise large gatherings highlighting the contributions of mothers.

As a mark of respect and recognition of their contributions mothers are showered with gift cards, flowers, clothes and accessories, chocolates, handmade items, gift vouchers etc. Some give special treats to their mothers and help them to have a leisurely work-free day.

Mothers, undoubtedly, play a key role in helping us to become the person we are. They love and comfort us; encourage us and provide for us whatever we need. They teach us to be strong, kind, caring, and compassionate; to support others around us. They give birth and rear us out of pure love and affection. They deserve the same from us as we grow older. It's crucial for the progress and preservation of human society.

Mothers ceaselessly perform their responsibilities. They ensure our well-being at all times. In response, as we grow up, we need to be more empathetic and grateful in our actions towards them and thank them sincerely for their sacrifices.

Mothers should be in our thoughts and prayers each day, but it's always wonderful to have one special day as a reminder to make our mothers feel loved, cherished and respected.

After what mothers do for us, don't they need a little more recognition? From today, let's make our mothers know how much we love them. Thank them for the countless hardships and burdens they undertake for us.

Let's shower her with love and respect each day. Spend as much time as we can with her, especially on Mother's Day. There's nothing she would like more.

Today she is with us, tomorrow may be different.

Do not shed tears when I am gone.

Give me a moment now, before my curtain is drawn.

Have you ever told her that you love her?

Go kiss her, hug her tight and say it loud!

'I love you Ma.'


Reference:

Mother's Day 2022, May 3, 2022, History

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher