As I was out running some errands yesterday I was inumdated by the signs for Mother's Day cards, flowers, and jewelry(!!). Now don't get me wrong - I love any reason to celebrate as much as the the next person, but we have certainly gotten away from the the original point of Mothers day. In 1872, Julia Ward Howe issued a Declaration urging women to come together in opposition to war in all of its forms. Her goal was not breakfast in bed and a bouquet of flowers. It was to stop mothers around the world from having to lose their children and husbands to the violence of war. She encouraged women to recognize that what we have in common far surpasses our differences, and to commit to finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts. Today, more than every, we need to pay attention.
Mother's Day Declaration
Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
"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.
~Julia Ward Howe