The month of May holds celebrations across race and ethnicity. Many are different and many are held in common.
There are graduates and their families of all races and ethnic groups preparing for celebrations at different levels across different educational disciplines. There are holiday celebrations from Cinco de Mayo in early May to Memorial Day that ends the month of May.
But one of the universal celebrations is that of motherhood. Mother’s Day is one of the most celebrated across the world as it should be. It is still one of the oldest and greatest professions on earth.
There is a lot to the old adage, “Your mother will be there for you no matter what.” And usually mothers are unless there are some extenuating circumstances, like physical or mental illness, extreme drug or alcohol addiction or, too often, misplaced priorities.
But mothers — those who choose the role or accept the role thrust upon them — so often carry the burden of being the glue that keeps it all together whether it is a traditional family, a hybrid, or extended family.
So including motherhood among professions to be honored is only fitting. Let us recognize young mothers, older mothers, those mothers in between, and those no longer with us. Mothers across all racial, ethnic, and cultural spectrums in America and throughout the world deserve to be honored and respected.
Dare I suggest that honoring and appreciating motherhood, in all its complexity, its beauty, its pain, its challenges, and its fulfillment, should be an ongoing affair because the career of motherhood never ends for those who truly accept the responsibility?
Motherhood has always been one of the toughest jobs on earth. And today, with all the forces tugging at both mothers and children, in many respects the job is tougher.
Mothers of all races and ethnic groups hope to have a realistic chance of nurturing another human being into one with good values, a good sense of self, compassion, and concern for ones neighbor, ones community, and the betterment of mankind, as well as face some ominous challenges — from infancy to young adulthood. So often, where there exist good conditions and good options for children, there are just as many negative ones lurking nearby.
Good and bad influences exist from the playgrounds to what is brought into the family room by television and the Internet in higher degrees and multiple doses. Mothers use too only worry about untimely exposure to things like sex and drugs. Now, there is the specter of guns, abductions, and other acts of wanton violence perpetrated by crazed adults and children alike that cannot be ignored.
One is forced to ask, what are we doing as a society to support the efforts of motherhood? Support means more than making sure children are physically fed, clothed, and housed. What responsibility do we share to do things that reinforce exposing and cultivating good values in children, strong work ethics, and respect for another person, ones community, and the sanctity of human life?
There are those who truly believe that governmental policies and communities are extended families, but have no major role in helping mom nurture future leaders and ordinary citizens.
Motherhood cannot be successful in a vacuum. Our mothers and grandmothers knew that whether they were black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or otherwise. They shared the responsibility in rearing not only their children, but also their neighbor’s children. They did it during times when there may not have been much in the way of technology, but reinforcement and respect for the job of rearing children abounded.
Fortunately, today, many mothers still adhere and practice the beliefs of their mothers and grandmothers.
As a society, we must be willing to help mothers — all mothers across race and ethnicity — to be good mothers. After all, they have the first chance to shape those who will shape our society in the future in their hands.
What more critical and defining role is there?