“Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4: 7; 12
Today, in the United States, we celebrate and remember our mothers on this their special day! What is it about mothers which causes us to feel such a fondness for them? For me, in my life’s journey and reflection, there is no truer description of a mother other than the word “love”. Love, felt in its deepest sense, is expressed by a person (mom) just because we exist. The love of a mother has nothing to do with who I am or what I give in return. No, the love of a mother, whether she bore you or not, is freely given simply because you exist. In this unconditional love is where we find motherhood as a reflection of the Divine, of God. Total and complete love, not requiring anything else.
Several years ago, Robert Fulghum wrote a book entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten“. I would like to share it now as a tribute to Mothers and all they teach us. I know this wasn’t Fulghum’s intent, but his reflection speaks perfectly to the lessons taught us by the women who very deeply cared for and about us.
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
BE AWARE OF WONDER. Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup — they all die. So do we. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all — LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if we all — the whole world — had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are — when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
As we remember and celebrate Mothers on this day, how best can we honor the person who has given us the greatest gift of all: unconditional love!
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