May 14, 2006


Posted in Personal, The Cause at 5:52 pm by egalitaria

From the bulletin of a church I visited today, BLC (Bangsar Lutheran Church), is an interesting point made about the origins of Mother's Day.

Taken from wikipedia, it states that it was "originally conceived by social activist Julia Ward Howe during the American Civil War with a call to unite women against war. She wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation. (However), Mother's Day now simply celebrates motherhood and thanking mothers. Mothers often receive gifts on this day."

Ps Sivin goes on to say that Mother's Day which is celebrated mainly as a private family affair today was birthed in a context where women were called to rise up against social upheaval as an act and instrument of peace. Isn't that amazing? A day that originated to UNITE WOMEN AGAINST WAR.

How much of its history can we tell from the flowery bouquets and perfumery, scented cards, teddy bears, fluff and heartshaped-chocolate sold in the shops today? Zilch.

If only the mothers of today would unite in their convictions for worthy causes instead of gathering together to discuss the Best Sort of Woman Your Son Needs. (although I do believe in matchmaking, as posted earlier…)

But in today's context of appreciating mothers for what they've done, this is what my thoughts were churning out, unable to gather them quickly enough into words this morning: A mother's love is not just sweet and flowery. A mother's love is strong, fierce, undying, solid… like the roar of a thunderous waterfall. It flows down hard and steady, and woe betide all who come her way. It is a love that fights, that fights for good. It is a love that is the perfect epitome and reflection of God's own love. A crazy, unconditional love… And imagine what a group of mothers might be able to do for the good of society.

Julia's Mother's Day Proclamation, 1870, calling for peace during the Civil War:

From the voice 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 our 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…

A blessed Ma's day to all Marmees of the world!



  1. Sivin said,

    I was delightfully suprised and challenged when I was googling the origins of mother’s day. Our society easily domesticates what originally were revolutionary beginnings or ideals. It’s the same with many other festivals like Christimas or Easter (for Christians). And very often, we fall into the same trap as well and prefer “saccharine-nized” versions of our faith, ideals and way of life. Now once we take this line of thought further, there’s lots to talk about, lots to walk into (and out of), and lots we can explore – with fresh and renewed imagination – a very needed space these days.

  2. Marmee said,

    Good exposition of the superficiality of today’s celebration of Mother’s Day. Well done! Underlying a child and a Mum’s love are hidden depths that words cannot capture. But i love the way you have described it as a Fierce Love. Cos that is what a Mum would do to protect her child at all costs, even if it means surrendering her own life! Thank you, my child!! Love, Mompsa

  3. piquet said,


    I cannot pretend to fully understand all that you’ve written since your thoughts are so deep and so well articulated.

    Heck, I cant even 100% understand the 2 previous comments although I am rather inclined to agree with them.

    What I know is that Marmee’s love is pure, gracious, encouraging and sacrificial. Like you I pray for God’s blessings to be upon all the Marmees in the world.

  4. egalitaria said,

    piquet: what we simply mean is that the call for any form of social justice, social action, has usually through the years diluted into some fluffy, happy, sweet, bouncy occassion. Think about Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s day… read the history of each of these. Nothing fluffy and sweet about them!

  5. piquet said,

    OK ,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I think i got it. I like reading your stuff but i’ve got to take it slow or else i

    might short circuit.

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