Mother’s Day – Let us honour the bravery of Mothers

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MOTHER’S DAY – Let us honour our brave Mothers

Yes! It is a good idea to set aside one day in the year to appreciate one group of society. Shower Mom with roses and take the tasks of everyday motherhood out of her hands, by all means. But there is much more to motherhood than the annual fluff that surrounds the day. The role of a mother encompasses the most rewarding, joyful moments of life. But it also means a life sentence: fear and worry for the beloved offspring, the inevitability of dashed dreams and the pain of disrespect after a lifetime of dedication to the child’s wellbeing.

“Haar naam is Eva

‘n vrou wat ‘n duisend drome in haar dra

‘n vrou wat gee sonder om te vra

‘n vrou soos my ma.”

(Emile Minnie)

Birth pains never stop

Tragedy has been built into motherhood from the dawn of consciousness. The cradle of humankind is in Africa, whence Homo Sapiens comes. All our ancestors originated in the womb of Mother Africa. We are all siblings under the skin.

Yet observe: We are creating artificial divides (nationality, religion, gender, doctrine, economic differences and goals) that justify the ill treatment of one group by another. Every girl that is abducted by a fanatic, every child that is strapped to a suicide bomb by a zealot, every Zimbabwean beaten up by a Zulu, every white farmer killed by a Sotho, every policeman shot by a criminal, every wife tortured by a husband, every Ukrainian dispossessed by a Russian, every teenager chased by a soldier, every dictator establishing his power by sowing suspicion amongst his people, and every Palestinian unable to support his family because the Israelis are contracting the walls around the ghetto, every Mexican student ‘vanished’ by drug cartels, every Chinese poet imprisoned by her own leaders, every Jew tortured by the Stasi and every prisoner on Robben Island carting stones….. each and every one, the victim and the perpetrator, has a mother.

For every suffering inflicted by one person on another, two mothers weep. 

The evolution of humankind

The evolution of Homo Sapiens into what we are today is a complex process by which we acquired not only the brain size and tools with which to contend with the challenges in our environment, but also the ability to cooperate with one another. This is possible because we communicate about natural phenomena that threaten us (lions, earthquakes, winter) or benefit us (warmth, food, water). But animals also do that. What distinguishes us from the animals is that we create common myths that are not related to reality as such, but get us to believe in certain things as a group: the dragon lives on the far side of the hill so do not go there, the Neanderthals will eat our babies so we should kill them, there is a benevolent deity that looks after us, the floods took away our wheat because we displeased the deity, the great spirit of the buffalo will send us meat and hides if we sacrifice the leader of Homo Erectus. Does it sound familiar? The terminology has changed but we still subscribe to such myths. That is how ethnic wars start and governments stay in power, religions control people and the rich manipulate the economy.

The Price

The price for the rapid growth of brain size together with the fact the humans were becoming more upright, was once again paid for by the mothers: head size increased and the hip width narrowed. Giving birth became a more difficult, painful, dangerous process.

Remember this when you applaud the oppression of one group by another, participate in xenophobic hatred, think rape is something a woman brings on herself or think for one moment that it is not the mothers in every area in the world where there is violence and war, earthquake and flood, that bear the brunt. A mother’s inability to keep her children safe and well is the ultimate sorrow. A mother that witnesses her child being cruel to somebody else is in hell.



Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway is a playwright, poet, speech writer, translator and editor as well as guest writer. She specializes in satirical social commentary, the arts, education, book reviews and three course picnics. She comes from a long line of hat wearers.

Suenel is available for guest posts and can be contacted at the e-mail address provided.