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Mothers are more than special

Slaps seen around the world: Some are calling this mom “mother of the year” after cameras captured her snatching her son from a Freddie Gray protest in Baltimore and scolding him for his behaviour. Gray died in police custody from a severe spinal cord injury

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day, a time of year when motherhood is celebrated around the world.

Why do we celebrate? Because throughout centuries of history mothers have played a significant role in passing on great qualities of life, from one generation to the next. We know there have been many fathers who have also given much, but few would not agree that there is no more powerful instinct to protect and love than that found in mothers.

A moment recently caught on camera exemplified this. When a mother spotted her son in disturbances in Baltimore, Maryland, after the death of a man while in police custody, she disregarded everyone, including the police, to take action to let her son know he had crossed the line. She left no doubt what she expected from him as her son.

In true old-fashioned style, she pounced on him with slaps in a manner that spoke louder than words about how she felt about him disobeying her instructions to attend school on that day.

He had no idea she would be in the area, and despite a hood partially covering his face, there was no hiding when a mother makes eye contact.

He knew what was coming, and it did not matter whether the world was watching; motherly instincts to protect and correct became the order of the day, and it can be said she “went upside his head”, and bystanders knew better than to say anything. Not once did he raise his hand against her, perhaps knowing that to do so might have touched off something even bigger than the riots.

Her actions drew praise around the world, even from members of the US Congress, although there were others who were critical of her use of force, which they felt sent a message that violence was the only way to bring children in line when it comes to behaviour. However, most agree that although guidance through words is preferred in bringing up children, there are times when something more is required to get the message across.

What that mother did that day represented a long line of tough decisions mothers have had to make in the process of showing true love and that nothing should stand in the way of protecting and caring, even in the face of a changing world where some basic values seem to be crumbling as new concepts emerge about what is right and wrong.

Had it not been for great mothers who were able to display inner strength and unquestionable commitment to uphold important values for positive living, much of what we have today would not be here.

There are countless stories of the influence from mothers who touched the lives of not only their immediate family, but others they shared community life with.

Gone are the days when in most neighbourhoods each child had more than one mother.

It was a time when Mary’s child would be reluctant to step out of line with Mrs Brown, because back then there was a silent code that allowed Mrs Brown to whip that child into shape, with the real mother’s blessing. That type of cohesive discipline has since faded, and in some cases parents these days frown at another person correcting their child.

The important factor is that if a child is not corrected early negative traits will take root and everyone knows how difficult it is to straighten a tree after it has grown. Although life is much faster these days, and because the current economic hardship has created considerable stress among parents, good values still need to be preserved even if it takes a little more than mere words.

Mothers have always played a major role in this area and continue to do so without fanfare. Let us think of those mothers who have earned their rest, and support those mothers who today are doing their best to carry the torch of love and protection along with guidance laced with proper discipline in order to help build a stronger community.

Mothers are too often the unsung heros in this struggle, and they deserve to be applauded.

Mothers truly are more than special, and it is their input in teaching values that must have the support of the entire community at all times. They have a never-ending task.