At Young Ethical Explorers, we call Mother’s Day NURTURER’s DAY to honor the great diversity of people’s relationship to “mothering” — to get to the HEART of the act of mothering.
TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF Ethical NYC — thank you for NURTURING OUR YOUNG LEARNERS by offering them a program within which to anchor their heart, and cultivate their ethical core.
Uniquely, humans are born requiring NURTURE. In other words, we must be mothered, to survive. Happy Mother’s Day, to all who have been nurtured — all of us!
It may be surprising to realize, that in a world of beings, humans are uniquely babyish upon birth. We are unable to care for themselves and cannot move about for ourselves, and we are slow to gain our independence. This slow start means we need our nurturers… and it also affords us our mighty super power of human beings, wherein we grow a big brain with exceptional growth capacity called Nuero-plasticity.
Nurture is an ETHICAL process, subtle, deep and mostly invisible. May we thank the invisible hands that nurture us. May we grow to appreciate the gardener of kin, the cultivators of children’s development, the ones upon whose nurture we depend.
Mother’s Day can put the ACT OF MOTHERING into light and make the invisible hand of care, visible. Cultivating some reflection and gratitude, we may decide to NURTURE OUR NURTURERS. Breakfast in bed, is a favorite. Let’s take this gratitude beyond one day of celebration, into new levels of:
- Family Insight
- Homemade Gifting
1. Family Insight is a kind of research, of seeing past the obvious within your own home life. It starts with acknowledging that your parents are whole human beings, not just parents. Identify the nurturer you are focusing on BY NAME, not just title (i.e. mom). Adjust your lens to see the whole person that is your nurturer. Here’s a lovely song to get you going, from the idealistic family album of the 1970’s FREE TO BE YOU AND ME: Parents are People.
For Family Insight, Young Ethical Explorers focused on 3 questions:
What do you love about being a nurturer/mom?
What is the hardest part of being a nurturer/mom?
What is an invisible but essential act of nurturing/parenting?
AND we discussed young Oberon’s important question: How do people learn to be parents since they don’t study it in school.
2. Homemade gifts of recognition, love and gratitude are essential for our NURTURERS. You may extend the Mother’s Day action of gratitude to a weekly expression of gratitude to the invisible hands that nurture you. Make a bedtime mantra for this… “Thank you for all the invisible ways you helped me today…” In Young Ethical Explorers, we made ACROSTIC POEMS of appreciation with our mother’s names.
3. Finally, to understand Mothers Day on the level of DEED, it helps to know the history of Mother’s Day — as a call for peace — and from there, to think about your own connection to creating peace and nurturing humanity — or as Felix Adler says, “Eliciting the best in others, and thereby, yourself. Here is the Julia Ward Howe who birthed Mother’s Day itself:
One way to remember this creator’s name, is to care about HOW(e) people are doing, and to ask them… “HOW(e) are you doing today?” That’s her name, HOW with an e on the end.
The truest deeds of Mother’s Day are to strengthen our capacity to NURTURE those in our midst.
TO NURTURE OUR NURTURERS
And to PASS IT FORWARD… helping others. Nurturing humanity.
There are many ways to proceed in deed, way beyond Mother’s Day that can be inspired specifically by themes brought up. One is to advocate for the reunification of all the families who were previously separated at the US/Mexico border.
Thank you to Julia Ward Howe and Felix Adler.
Thank you to the Mothers at Ethical Culture, be your children babies or grown ups…
And thank you to the Nurturers of Humanity, taking thoughtful ethics forth one step at a time. All.