REQUIEM FOR ALL MOTHERS
By Gloria Lowe
Michigan Citizen, May 8-14, 2011
We are approaching the modern celebration of Mother’s Day.
In these times of out-of-control consumerism not even holiday celebrations are exempt from capitalist gain.
This celebration may date back to early Greece and the traditions around the various Greek gods, festivals and customs of worship to female deities. Later in the Christian traditions, Sundays were set aside to worship the Mothers in the church.
Julia Ward Howe, an early American feminist, issued the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” with the understanding that women have an innate responsibility to shape society and its political landscape. This was a pacifist reaction to the suffering that occurred at the time of the American Civil War. Her activism led to involvement in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Peace Movement after the war.
We are at war today in our communities at home, in communities all over the world. The rampant loss of lives, liberty and freedoms in the richest country on the planet means that we are at war with our own humanity.
Women continue to be under-represented in every aspect of society: employment, health and related fields, political arenas and education. More importantly, we have not achieved equality in the value of our woman-ness.
We continue to bear witness to the effects of war in our communities as a result of unemployment, educational disengagement, homelessness and despair.
Our children are being incarcerated at alarming rates.
What does this mean for us as Mothers in 2011? What work lies ahead to create a more wholesome vision of our humanity and that of the world around us?
We are at a pivotal point on the clock of the world. There a major paradigm shift is taking place, a shift as dramatic as the evolutionary move from Hunting to Agriculture thousands of years ago. And the shift from the agricultural age to the Industrial Age over five hundred years ago.
Now we are evolving from this industrial epoch into a highly technological epoch. A huge cultural transformation is taking place.
Women all over the world are starting to rise up and engage in a new found sense of urgency for the transformation of villages, cities and the Earth.
Witness the work of Dr. Vandana Shiva and the poor women of India, engaged in seed banking and other aspects of food security. Wangari Matthai and the planting of trees to empower poor African village women. Julia “Butterfly” King, environmentalist social activist, urging us to rethink our relationships with all species on this planet. The fight to understand our interconnectedness to all life on this planet. Our very own Grace Lee Boggs, lifelong philosopher, activist and writer who asks us: “What does it mean to grow your soul”?
This Mother’s Day in Detroit is a call to grieve, to heal and to transform ourselves, our families, our communities and our city.
In this spirit there will be a Memorial March to honor Robert Mitchell, Jerian Blake and Ayanna Jones, all victims of violence. Violence that must be transformed in our hearts to unconditional love for ourselves and others to put an end to war and a beginning for peace.
Join us Saturday, May 28, 2011 as we gather at Bringard Boulder Park at 11:00 am.
Remember that the peace and security in the future for ourselves and our planet rest on how we honor women, as a strong universal creative force, one that will usher in a new paradigm in 21st century America.