Do You Know the Original Intention behind Mother’s Day?

JuliaWardHoweI didn’t! Mother’s Day has always been a time to appreciate and show gratitude to My mother, to My wife as mother, or to any mother I might see that day, saying, “Happy Mother’s Day!” bringing a smile to their face. A wonderful day of candy, roses and brunch!

Today, two days after Mother’s Day, I was reading Real Change magazine. Real Change is the local publication created to support low income and homeless people in the Seattle area. Real Change articles always stop my obsessive self concern, at least for a moment and touch my heart in consideration of people with much greater struggles than mine.

The article that most touched me this week was about Code Pink and Julia’s Voice, two peace activist groups formed by mothers who were inspired by the life and efforts of Julia Ward Howe. Howe’s efforts as a poet and activist are responsible for the Mother’s Day tradition being a national holiday.

Julia Ward Howe was already famous as the woman who wrote the words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” when in 1870,  in response to the carnage of the Franco-Prussian War and in the aftermath of our Civil War, she decided that the mothers who had lost so much to war should refuse to offer their sons to any new battles.

She wrote this poem calling for Mothers to join to together to put an end to war:

“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 bosom 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 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 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.”

I was deeply moved reading this. I never knew this about Mother’s day — and I’m 63 years old! I figured I probably wasn’t alone, so I post this blog to spread this knowledge to others who may appreciate it as I did.

May we celebrate this profound dimension of Mother’s Day and practice Peace every day in any way we can.

May all beings be happy and free! May our compassion for all beings, ourselves included, continue to increase!

Here’s a guided practice designed to naturally increase your compassion:
Finding True Magic audio CD: Cultivating Fearlessness & Compassion

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ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Jack offers private sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching. He offers live trainings and distance learning trainings in Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP. Jack also presents keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success, confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.  Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.