Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day

A roundup of Mothers Day news and posts:

- Red Jenny has posted a powerful Letter from the Landless Mothers that is a must read. It begins:

We speak to the sons and daughters of the land from all nations. To those who were not invited to the banquet. To those who have been waiting in the queue of history for centuries. We will not be spectators at a film waiting for the light to go out. It's time to believe in the possibility of defeating sorrow.

We are rising up with the mothers who are losing their sons and daughters in wars, in urban massacres, from the barrel of a rifle, in concentration camps, in acts of femicide and genocide, in domestic violence, in political persecutions, in armed sieges. We are rising up with the mothers who are losing their children because they don’t have milk, bread, land, or access to the knowledge accumulated by humanity. We are rising up with the mothers who are wandering with their sons and daughters, seeking a better world, We are rising up to call for social justice and dignity.

- Next, 14 Women's Groups Send Wal-Mart Mother's Day Challenge:

14 Leading Women's Groups Representing Over 10 Million Women Call on Wal-Mart to Address Its Mistreatment of Wal-Mart Women by Mother's Day National Council of Women's Organizations, National Organization of Women (NOW), National Congress of Black Women, CODEPINK, & 10 Other Groups Call on Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott to 'Lead by Example' and Help Improve Lives of Its Women Workers to Also Launch 'Million Moms Call & Cards' Campaign Initiative in 19 States

- Editorial: How about a National Mother's Day for Mothers Who Have Lost a Child to the Disease of Addiction?

So on this Mother's Day while everyone is celebrating the joys of motherhood, whether you're already a mother or about to become one, I hope you will take a moment to ponder the Other Mothers.

The Other Mothers who will be smiling on the outside while trying to quell the volcano of grief on the inside as we fight with all of our being to prevent it from spewing forth and demoralizing everyone around us.

We don't want that. We don't want to deny other mothers their well-deserved day of recognition. We also do not want you to join our ranks. What we do want is to have our child acknowledged, and remembered. We want them remembered for the kind, caring, loving children that they were, not for the disease that ravaged their minds and bodies.

A reminder to think about mothers who've not only lost their children to addiction but to other causes as well - whether or not those children have actually met their final end, along with a moment for everyone who has lost their mother and for which this can be a difficult day as well. There are also those of us who have strained relationships with our moms which have yet to be healed. Life isn't a Norman Rockwell painting, but we all do the best we can and support for mothers in general ought never be taken for granted. Too many suffer alone. Too many go unnoticed and under-appreciated. Too many are simply invisible.

- Via Democracy Now!:

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald has just produced a short film titled Mother's Day For Peace. It features a dramatic reading of Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation by Felicity Huffman, Christine Lahti, Fatma Saleh, Ashraf Salimian, Vanessa Williams and Alfre Woodard. This excerpt begins with Gloria Steinem.

GLORIA STEINEM: Mother's Day really was in its origin an antiwar day, an antiwar statement. Julia Ward Howe was sickened by what had happened during the Civil War, the loss of life, the carnage, and she created Mother's Day as a call for women all over the world to come together and create ways of protesting war, of making a kind of alternate government that could finally do away with war as an acceptable way of solving conflict.

* Mothers Day for Peace. The full movie can be seen at Mothers Day for Peace. Robert Greenwald produced the film to raise money for the group No More Victims.

- Julia Ward Howe's (1819-1910) Mothers Day Proclamation:

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of fears!

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 devasted [sic] 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 indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow 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 then solemnly take counsel with each other as the means whereby the great human family can live in peace,

And each bearing after her own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

- More Mothers Day History.

Mothers Day: It's about peace and justice, not just cards and flowers.

A very special wish for a Happy Mothers Day to my daughter, fantastic mother of my my 2 grandherbs, with another one set to debut this fall. She's a source of inspiration. I love you, sweetie.

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