My mother doesn’t surf internet. She will never know that people all over the world go berserk with tweets and wonderful messages on Facebook eulogizing their mothers one moment and then taking them for granted for the rest of the year. She probably doesn’t even know nor does she care that there is a special day in a year reserved for mothers around the world.
The last time I told her, she responded with a question, “So what happens on Mother’s Day?” I told her that this is the day when the whole world recognizes the contribution of mothers around the world. It is a way by which the world has decided to pay back the mothers. She twitched her brows in part appreciation part confusion, hugged me and went about her chore. Even if I tell her today, she will probably forget the concept tomorrow. The bottom-line is that, to her and to a vast majority of mothers around the world, the concept doesn’t matter, nor does it make a difference.
The larger question is “Who is the mother here? “
Is the interpretation of ‘Mother’ to be restricted to our biological mother? Is it the mother who became ecstatic when we kicked her from within the womb? The mother who we continued kicking while suckling, the mother who we quite literally continue kicking when we grow up, the lady who cares enough to prepare the dinner whether we eat or not and just don’t care to apologize if we don’t or thank her for her efforts, the lady who groomed us when we couldn’t do anything ourselves, the lady whose only strength and weakness is us, who would not, cannot ditch us even if we keep taking her for granted like door of the house, the house that she turns into a home.
Or does ‘Mother’ represent the goddesses from various mythologies? Or is it the Mother Earth that nurtures us all, absorbs all our infringements and still goes about giving and caring for us. Is it the mother that we shamelessly plunder to meet our godforsaken ambitions which know no end?
Or does ‘Mother’ mean the space that holds the Earth in place? Or is it the ‘Cosmic Womb’ from which came the universe just as we came from our mother’s womb? Is it the nothing that gave birth to everything?
If we go by the philosophy that there is a male and a female in all of us, then all of us are potential mothers. In Spiritually Evolved Societies, everyone is a mother – the whole society – because everyone cares and shares. The responsibility of parenting is not limited to the biological parents. The whole community grieves if one of them sleeps hungry. The whole village strives to love and recover the hurt of one.
The problem is that we have restricted and localized our idea of ‘Mother’ to that one individual. A mother is not just who bore us and breast-fed us; a father who caresses us after office while we are asleep is a mother, a neighbour who shares the sweet dish she made is a mother, a person who gives up his seat in a bus for an elderly person is a mother, a teenage son becomes a mother when he lies to his ailing mother that he had dinner at friend’s place, a friend who eggs you on when you’re down is a mother, a wife who takes leave from office to take care of her sick husband is a mother, a giver of alms is a mother to a beggar, someone who says no to plastic is a mother to environment, people who care for street animals are mothers to nature, a stranger who hugs you for no reason is a mother too.
We don’t have to bear and rear a child to become a mother; we become a mother the moment we love and care selflessly for that is what a mother does best. This is not to undermine the absolutely wonderful biological privilege of carrying another life within you that only the female gender can experience.
Let us celebrate this mother’s day with this new conscious understanding. It is mother’s day for you if and when: you made a difference to someone, you lied prostrate on the ground thanking the Earth, hugged a tree in gratitude, caressed a flower without plucking it, removed a stone from the road or filled a pothole, just spread your arms around feeling the air, thanked everything that holds you in place, just smiled – as if you know a secret – the secret that is love and the love outpours as tears of joy for all that is.
Every day is a mother’s day and every moment a potential mother’s moment if we operate from love. Let us pat our backs for all such moments that have brought out the mothers in us.
Happy Mother’s Day!