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The NSPA Blog

A Mother’s Day Reflection

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Posted on May 9th, 2021 by Bettina Carlson

Mother’s Day is an occasion to show our respect and love towards mothers. We spoil our mothers, giving them a day of rest to show them how much we appreciate all they do for us throughout the year. We serve breakfast in bed, take them out to brunch, buy lovely gifts, cards and flowers. We are trying our best to create the perfect day. 

Our mothers appreciate these expressions of love. Who doesn’t enjoy being spoiled? Yet, there is one wish that we often hear mothers express when asked what they want for Mother’s Day:

“For one day, I would love the whole family to get along and not argue.”

Actually, this wish for peace is at the root of Mother’s Day, promoted by two remarkable women.

Ann Marie Jarvis founded Mother’s Day in 1858, inspired by her mother, who served wounded soldiers in the American Civil War. She wanted a way to remember her mother and all the other mothers who sacrificed so much during this war. So she promoted a call to action to improve the lives of families through health and peace and advocated specifically for sanitation to improve the high infant mortality rate. 

Oh, and guess what Jarvis’ mother’s favorite flower was? Yes! A Carnation!

Julia Ward Howe, in response to the carnage of the Civil War, and in tune with Jarvis, published “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world” in 1870. In this proclamation, Howe called on women to unite for peace in the world: “Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel … with each other … as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace.”

With all that is going on in our society these days, how about reclaiming the original intention of Mother’s Day, and let’s connect and talk with each other. Let’s collectively challenge what divides us and instead nurture curiosity and teach compassion, and advocate and act towards peace and unity. 

May you have a peaceful Mother’s Day!

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