Monday, May 27, 2024

Make this pledge

Today is the eve of Mother’s Day 2024. Markets will be more crowded today than the usual Saturdays. Our already crowded pavements and any open space in the market will see brisk commercial activities particularly sale of Roses and other flowers ~ all in the name of celebrating Mothers. Ah, how the world has commercialized the most sacred spaces of human hearts and minds and we have so blindly, so willingly and so wholeheartedly followed suit and turned our Christmases, New Years, Easters, and numerous other holy festivals of all religions into multi-dollar businesses ~ in fact, corporatized them into something unrecognizable from their original significance. Even love is now a global industry come Valentine’s Day. See how big bucks can corrupt the most beautiful feelings and relationships into something grotesquely quantifiable? Unfortunately, even Mothers seem to be steeped in the rituals of the day devoted to them. Not least the Fathers, who are only too willing to pay for expensive gifts to show how much they care. What we do not realize is that commercializing and corporatizing these celebrations of relationships of love, respect and commitment, as also holy festivals, reveal how tragically we have turned and twisted what ought to be enduring beauty into mundane annual force of habit and market exchanges. And so on the eve of Mother’s Day 2024, it is a good time to assess how well we have taught ourselves ~ and by extension, our loved near ~ that love, respect and commitment doesn’t need extravagant displays once a year and the dicta of the market. Love, respect and commitment need nurturing every minute of the day and in the best and worst of times and circumstances. This is even more pertinent in today’s world where children rule the roost and parents bend over backwards to cater to every whim and fancy of children. So, as we celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday and Mothers are feted in numerous ways, it is also Mothers’ obligation to soul-search the kind of children we are rearing. Khalil Gibran is attributed to have said “The house is dark till the Mother wakes up” ~ in a broader perspective our house still remains dark. When will Mother wake up? Historically and traditionally, Mothers are perceived and exalted as saints, as perfect human beings on Mother’s Day and sometimes on other days too but we know that as human beings, Mothers have also come short of the glory of God and are as responsible and as culpable for society’s woes and ills ~ by our acts of commission and omissions. So, on Mother’s Day, which is devoted to us, which celebrates us, Mothers would serve our families and society well if instead of basking in so much tribute, applause and adoration, we also evaluate the quality of our contributions to our families and society. Mother’s Day is a good time to take stock of the kind of legacy we are leaving behind for our progeny, for future generations and for the future society. It is natural and human to assume that we know everything but parenthood is one subject not taught in any school, college and university anywhere in the world and so we grapple with parenting and do the best we can to nurture our children physically, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, intellectually, etc. with whatever knowledge we have. Consciously or sub-consciously, we also tend to rear our children the way we were brought up. There have been lot of hits and equally lot of misses in our parenting so it takes courage and wisdom to honestly review and assess our quality of parenting. On Mother’s Day, as we unwrap our presents, soak in the love, light and laughter of familial feelings and feel like the Queens that we are, let us also seek the will, wisdom and strength to rock the cradle the way it should be rocked ~ with the right rhythm. The world is going out of tune and it is only Mothers who can re-tune it to create the perfect music and Mother’s Day is the perfect time to make the pledge for this unique opportunity and responsibility. If not Mothers, no one will make this pledge ~ and the market would have won.