Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reflections on Motherhood...

I was asked to speak at a Mothers day tribute service this morning. My speech was to be about instilling values in our children. 
 Here it is…. 
Mothers across the globe share the fundamental basics that being a mother brings. We enjoy many gifts and we face many challenges, including the challenge of instilling values in our children. Values strong enough to sustain them throughout their lives, values that contribute to the community, and are passed down through the generations.
My own mother instilled very strong values in me and my siblings. In particular she instilled the value of hard work,  determination, empathy and compassion.
My mother was a woman ahead of her time. She taught all seven of her children to work hard, to view obstacles in life as simple challenges to be overcome. And she taught us to think about those less fortunate than ourselves. She worked full time & raised seven children, in an era when women didn’t work. Like most mothers, she taught by example. 

She was a wonderful role model.

My mother taught me to have compassion for others. Even when she struggled to feed her own seven children, she would further divide what was on our table for the extra children who came to our door.  She taught us that there was always a solution to a problem, we just had to work hard to find it.
I look at my own children with great pride at the people they have become. I give thanks that they have strong values and they live their lives with integrity. I also give thanks that we live in a community that can provide our children with the necessities of life and the luxury of a sound education. 

In Vietnam, we have met many mothers who cannot offer their children the basics in life. Education is totally outside of their means, even providing their children with food or medical care is often a challenge. 

And yet, as her heart breaks for the plight of her child, she works hard to raise them with strong values.

As Quan slowly went blind due to a lack of medicines for a childhood illness, his poverty stricken mother refused offers of assistance for herself, suggesting they be given to those more in need. She taught Quan the value of empathy and compassion.  

As Quan struggled to overcome the challenges in his life, his mother stood back and let him struggle. She taught him the value of determination and perseverance. 

As she celebrated his achievements, she taught him the value of hard work.  

Thao and her mother would forage through rubbish, looking for items they could sell or recycle. Sometimes they would go days without food.  Thao’s very ill mother would encourage her to work hard, to focus on her schoolwork and to never give up on her dream of being a doctor. 

Her mother taught her well, we are now supporting Thao through medical school. 

I admire these gracious mothers, they are kind, honest and hard working, as are the children they have raised.   
While we don’t have the fear that our children will go hungry, or go blind due to a lack of medical care, we have different concerns. 

With abundance comes other challenges. Technology is a huge part of our children’s world. They are exposed to so many things that impact their lives. We have stiff competition when it comes to instilling values in our children! 
We must work together as a community to teach our children what is right. We must teach them to avoid a sense of entitlement and to be considerate of others.  We must teach them to work hard for their achievements. 

The old adage  “it takes a village to raise a child” is very true.
Today is Mothers day, a day set aside to honour and appreciate our mothers.  

This morning I thought of my mother, I also thought of Quan  and Thao’s mothers, and all other mothers out there. Some of them poverty stricken, with very real fears and concerns for their child’s future. Some of them mothers to other generations and some of them enjoying their very first mothers day. 
But all of them influencing and instilling values in those who will follow…


Kind regards
Alison & Rose

(please drop us a quick email so we can acknowledge your kindness)


1 Comments:

At May 9, 2010 at 5:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you guys!!!! YOu are always in my heart. Love Skye

 

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