On the Origin and History of Mother's Day
A beautifully composed Mother's Day video explores the origins of this special day. The inspiring four-minute video below features caring mothers from around the world talking about the importance of Mother's Day and its origins.
To explore the origins of Mother's Day, we travel back over 100 years in time to 1908, where we meet Anna Jarvis, a woman who strangely enough never married nor had children. In a very meaningful way, Mother's Day was her child.
Ms. Jarvis created Mother's Day to celebrate her own mother, a caring, dedicated activist, and world-class mother. As stated in an MSNBC article on the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day, "by all accounts, Jarvis' mother Ann was a community activist who worked to heal the divisions in north-central West Virginia following the Civil War, and to promote improved sanitation by creating Mothers Friendship Clubs."
Just six years after its birth, a 1914 resolution by President Woodrow Wilson turned Mother's Day into a national institution. Yet with its rapidly growing popularity, Anna Jarvis became increasingly upset with its rapid commercialization.
Later in her life, Ms. Jarvis stated that she "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control." As stated in the MSNBC article, "before she died in 1948, she protested at a Mother's Day celebration in New York, and was arrested for disturbing the peace."
As you watch the beautiful video below, consider letting go of the commercialization and stepping back into the pure spirit and intention upon which Mother's Day was originally founded. What better way to honor our mothers and the founder of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis.
Read the text of an early call for Mother's Day in the proclamation below. And as you celebrate Mother's Day this year, consider honoring both Anna Jarvis and your own mother. Notice where you might want to commercialize this special day. Then choose instead to invite back the spirit of its origin as you honor your mother or your own motherhood. And if you are a mother, I wish you a most warm and beautiful Mother's Day. Thanks so much to all mothers for bringing us into this life here and for nurturing and supporting us to shine our light in the world.
Mother's Day Proclamation
Note: The below text was written in 1870 as a reaction to the carnage of the US Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War by Julia Ward Howe.
Again, in the sight of the Christian world, have the skill and power of two great nations exhausted themselves in mutual murder. Again have the sacred questions of international justice been committed to the fatal mediation of military weapons. In this day of progress, in this century of light, the ambition of rulers has been allowed to barter the dear interests of domestic life for the bloody exchanges of the battle field.
Thus men have done. Thus men will do. But women need no longer be made a party to proceedings which fill the globe with grief and horror. Despite the assumptions of physical force, the mother has a sacred and commanding word to say to the sons who owe their life to her suffering. That word should now be heard, and answered to as never before.
Arise, then, Christian women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall 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, 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 the 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 vindicate 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 council.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at 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.
Note: Read a powerful essay by a top US general who realized how he was being manipulated by the power elite to support unnecessary wars.
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