Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother’s Day – The Origin and Purpose

On Sunday, May 13, 2012, most people in the U.S. celebrated Mother's Day.  Although many other countries celebrate Mother's Day with different traditions, Anna Marie Jarvis originally created the core tradition in 1868.  The original purpose of Mother’s Day was about reuniting families that were divided during the Civil War.  Anna later campaigned to have Mother’s Day a U.S. national and international holiday.  In 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. 

Anna delivered 500 white carnations on the first celebration of Mother’s Day.  It soon became the official flower of Mother’s Day.  With the shortage of white carnations and in part to help boost sales of other flowers, most florists began to promote wearing a red carnation if your mother was still living and a white carnation if your mother had passed away.   Later the holiday had become so commercialized that Anna was an opponent of the commercialization.  She spend her last days fighting what she thought was an abuse of the holiday.  She was even arrested for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day.

Even though Mother’s Day has become commercialized, I highly doubt that it has lost its true meaning.  It is still a day that unites families and mothers are given some appreciation of what they contribute to the family.  Single mothers contribute so much more and their struggles are deeper.  They have to assume other roles in additional to being mom.  Mothers who work at home, never seem to get time off.  Their work is continuous.  Married mothers with absent fathers struggle as well.  I mean those fathers who are present in the household and contribute very little. 
Moms are also a significant part of the working population.  Women account for over eighty percent of the workforce with my current employer. The company could not exist without them.  Their value to the organization is notable.  Mothers also play an important role in the family unit.  They provide the strength, nurturing, caring, cohesiveness and commitment well beyond words.  Child bearing years can be tough for moms.  They have to deal with day care issues and all the things that go with raising young children.   Without a strong family support system, it can have devastating effects on their employment.  When children are sick, the mom automatically assumes the role of comforter and healer.  Moms assume this role for the adult male in the household as well. 

It takes a special person to put everyone else first, and sacrifice themselves for others.  This is what a mom does constantly, consistently and without any regression.  It’s a lifetime commitment that goes without saying.  Is it really a “women’s world,” and men just happen to live in it?   

Whether your carnation is red or white, we honor our moms in life and death. I applaud all the moms in the world from every corner of the globe.  You are unique and intriguing.  Your purpose of being is the heart and cornerstone of life. 

I not only applaud you, but if you could see me at this moment, I’m giving you a standing ovation!     

~ Joseph Conrod Sr. SPHR

No comments:

Popular Posts