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10 May, 2013

MOTHER'S DAY

For the past 14 years, I have written and talked about the importance of Men and Fathers in our families, our communities, and our world. On numerous occasions, I have pointed out that Men are the glue that holds our families, our communities, and our world together. In the days leading up to Mother's Day, I have been thinking a lot about Women who, as Mothers, play an equally critical role in holding our families, our communities, and our world together. A Father's influence in his children's lives is long lasting. His influence governs the decisions they make about careers and in selecting a husband or wife when they reach adulthood. Fathers provide their children with powerful life lessons about successfully negotiating the world that exists outside of their immediate environment. And contrary to popular belief, Fathers are nurturers.  

A Mother's influence in the lives of her children is powerful and long lasting, too. Today, I am thinking about the powerful influence my Mother continues to have in my life. Some say that I am a good writer. Well, if that is true, the credit goes to my Mother! She taught me how to write. In my first or second year of elementary school, one of my first homework assignments consisted of writing a series of sentences using certain words. I clearly remember completing the assignment after which I presented it to my mother for her review. And she was not happy. She told me: "Never start every sentence with the same word. Make your sentences interesting. Put some variety in your writing! Young lady, march yourself upstairs to your room and write every sentence over again. You are not handing in homework like that to your teacher tomorrow!" So, I returned to my room and began slowly rewriting the sentences. Now, that was a very valuable lesson! It forced me to think about the message that I wanted to convey in my writing. If nothing else, she forced me to think! Many years later, I find myself poring over my writing and making sure that each sentence begins with a different word. I try to make sure that my sentences are, as my Mother would say, "interesting".  But that's not all that I learned from my Mother. She introduced me to classical music, crossword puzzles, astrology, and taught me how to curtsey (a formal and traditional gesture of greeting for a girl and woman which involves slightly bending both knees and bowing one's head simultaneously). And more importantly, she taught me to be an independent thinker. How did she do that? By simply telling me on more than one occasion, "Learn how to think for yourself! Don't follow the crowd!" 

To the Mothers of the World:  "Happy Mother's Day!"

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