Thursday, May 26, 2022

Respect For a Mother

By EMN Updated: May 12, 2019 12:02 am

By Fr Paul Lelen Haokip

Celebration of International Mother’s Day is not just to honour mothers but to instil the virtue of respect in persons who are not mothers. The sense of satisfaction to be a mother will differ greatly depending on one’s family atmosphere, financial soundness, societal acceptance and religious adherence. In some religious traits, motherhood may be considered more meaningful only when she gives birth to a male progeny while in another tradition motherhood is respected in toto. Motherhood is a gift to many women while some do struggle after marriage to beget a child to accomplish motherhood.

A Mother’s Glory
The book of Leviticus says, “Every one of you shall revere his mother and father.” The exhortation, “Honour thy father and thy mother” means “to glorify one’s mother and father”. How do we do that? To glorify one’s mother means your mother is proud to have you, that she does not regret begetting you. This requires being worthy of a son or a daughter in all aspects of life. One of the biggest woman’s glory is begetting a child (children). She finds fulfilment and honour with this God-given capacity.

Responsibilities of Mothers
From mere biological motherhood, mothers have many more unpronounced responsibilities to retain motherhood in the true sense. We can say, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:25-28). A mother has to make sure that she has this privilege to say, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). Mothers have the duty from dawn to dusk, before birth to maturity of their children. It won’t be an exaggeration to expect responsibilities of even caring their grandchildren. “There is no role in life that is more essential than that of motherhood” said Elder M. Russell Ballard.

Motherhood is a Vocation
“The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children” opines Elaine Heffner. Just like any other profession in life, to be married and accept motherhood is a vocation of highest esteem. To leave one’s family and get grafted to another man and his family is a herculean task a woman undertakes. This is a willingness to be plucked up and be transplanted to begin a new life-culture in an unknown environment. This entails sacrifice, willingness to suffer, readiness to learn, and aspiration to be a woman of repute. It is a vocation as it is willingly accepted and not forced upon.

A Day of Gratitude
More than a word, gratitude is an attitude. Mother’s Day is to be celebrated on all days but especially on a universally dedicated day (second Sunday of May) to acknowledge the worth of a mother for her service to humanity. This is also a day of inculcating values of thankfulness, peace and love in the family which ultimately enlivens family members and creates a sense of worth for a mother. This day is to be a moment of gratefulness to mothers for their motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence mothers have created in society. This day creates space for mothers to express themselves and opens up areas for their wellbeing which otherwise is usually unnoticed by others. It is also an occasion for men to change their attitude towards mothers (women).

Maternal Bond and Blessing
A woman usually leaves her family and join her husband’s family. Although she leaves her paternal home, her leaving creates maternal bonds for her children. These bonds are held with high esteem. Like in many other traditions of the world, in the Kuki society too, a mother is considered so precious that her relatives become unforgettable uncles and aunts for her children. It is highly expected of her husband to take his wife and children to his wife’s family and get annual blessing from maternal grandfather, grandmother and uncles. This traditional practice creates bond of connectivity, goodwill and showers of maternal blessings for the good health of children. This tradition is wombish in character.

Future of Mothers
Since the society is created by humans, the same humans can create honourable space for mothers. They have given us birth so that we can assure them security, love, respect, participation, freedom of speech and empowerment. Mothers create their own future through the sons and daughters they give birth to. They continue progeny and we can continue their safe future too. Theodore Hesburgh said, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” This is one surest way of continuity for ‘love’.

One of the best gifts to a mother is to show ‘gratitude’ for her dedication and service. They need to be paid well and looked after till death do us apart. A mother remains the first friend, first care taker, first teacher, forever partner and carries your memory in her heart forever. It would be derogatory to say, “My mother is a house wife” when she is “The queen of the family.” May you celebrate a meaningful Mother’s Day.

Fr Paul Lelen Haokip can be reached at:

By EMN Updated: May 12, 2019 12:02:29 am