Sunday, May 8, 2016

Nearly 150 years later, Mother's still want the same thing ... PEACE

To me, it is not such a surprise that the women and mothers in 1870 had the same desires and wants as we women and mothers have today, in 2016. 
It doesn't surprise me, but it does sadden me.  
Julia Ward Howe, in 1870, wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation, asking women to stand up to end war.  
At her time she was referring to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. Now, almost 150 years later, I could not even name all the 'wars' and military conflicts that are raging.  It is sad and depressing that violence and war are still such a mainstay of our world.

Here is the post I wrote a few years back about Julia Ward Howe and her Mother's Day Proclamation. 

Thank you Julia Ward Howe; the real mother's day story

Today I got a wonderful Mother's day present ~ I learned about the true origin of Mother's Day and I have been blown away by the story. 

I thought that this holiday had been started, or at least fostered, by Hallmark and the world of commercialization.  But that is false. This holiday DID NOT begin to get people to buy stuff!!!! 

Mother's Day began when Julia Ward Howe (an amazing woman ~  a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet)  wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation, written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.  She asked for women to stand up for ending war. 

"...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."
(The full text is at the bottom, thanks to Code Pink)

The fact that this proclamation rings achingly true 142 years later is not lost on me!! So much violence rages in this world ~ in the name of power, justice and even peace-keeping.

Later the holiday was used to help reunite families after the Civil War, lead by a West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis.  "After Jarvis’ death, her daughter began a campaign for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in honor of peace. Devoting much of her life to the cause, it wasn’t until 1914 when Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance in 1914." (from the article on Nation of Change's site.) The article goes on to say that Jarvis actively worked against the commercialization of the day, but alas, here we are! 

But that does not mean we are need to keep 'buying' into this commercial version of Mother's day.  We can change the focus of Mother's Day.  Just as Julia Ward Howe called for women and mothers to 'arise' for peace in 1870, we can 'arise' today, this year and next year and demand PEACE.  

We can take this day back from the marketplace and make it a celebration of PEACE.  I believe Peace on Earth would be the best gift to any mom!!  

I have always loved the idea of celebrating Mothers, motherly love and the nurturing concept of TLC and the desire for PEACE only adds to that equation.

  So . .  PEACE! 
Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

Arise then...women of this day!Arise, all women who have hearts!Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!Say firmly:"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 unlearnAll 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 countryTo allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up withOur 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 anvilAt the summons of war,Let women now leave all that may be left of homeFor 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 meansWhereby 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 askThat a general congress of women without limit of nationality,May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenientAnd 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.

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