A mother’s love and concern for her child is universal. The world over, all mothers want the same things for their children. Or do they?
If I were to ask you what your hopes and dreams are for your child, I am pretty certain I would get similar responses ~fulfilling lives, joy, happiness, to love and be loved, healthy minds and bodies and success in school and career. These hopes would probably be on the list for most of us. Moms who have children with special health or learning needs might add being accepted by their peers, finding their place in the world and being understood. But all in all, as mothers today, we are hoping and dreaming the same things: for our children to lead productive, successful and, most importantly, happy lives.
On a recent trip to Ethiopia, one young American mother asked her Ethiopian counterparts what they hope for their children. She was sobered by the responses she received. In this developing country, mothers hope that their children will have enough food, an education and some stature in their community. Not one mother said “I want them to be happy” or “I want them to pursue their passions”. Actually, what they want most, is to see their children survive childhood. About 50% of children in developing countries in fact die during their first month of life. It puts a lot into perspective doesn’t it?
Mother’s Day is a chance for children everywhere to acknowledge their mother’s love and sacrifices. We will undoubtedly give and receive flowers, chocolates or some favourite treat. In the developing world children will have no such opportunities to acknowledge their mothers. Most are already working to supplement the family income, sharing the burden of heavy chores and working in fields or factories instead of attending school. The way these children can best honour their mothers is to gain access to the education that so many are denied and do their best. Their ticket to a better life is education and this is where we can help.
This Mother’s Day, please acknowledge and honour the mothers in less fortunate circumstances than our own. Making a donation to any of the many charities that sponsor education in the developing world, such as Children of Hope Uganda, is a good start. Our money goes so far in these communities, as the members of the CGS Principal’s Club know first hand. In addition to making donations, instilling a sense of philanthropy in your own children will ensure a better of life for so many in the future. The benefits of actively fostering a child’s natural charitable impulses are enormous.
As a mother, I, like you, have many hopes and dreams for my children. Added to my list of success in school and happiness in love and life, is that my children will always rejoice in their good fortune by sharing it with those who need it most. A sense of compassion and charity is as high on my hopes and dreams list for my children as a fulfilling career and happy life. I know without a doubt that the givers in life are ultimately the most successful and the happiest.
Principal and Co-Founder
Children’s Garden School