By Yvonne Sam
Therefore, mothers, Black mothers in particular, have the power to change the world. However, at first, they must realize the power they possess.
In most cases, our first lessons are taught to us by our mothers. Generally, it is a mother, who gives a baby the first welcoming hug and kiss of love. We are nurtured by mothers.
Considering that children are like sponges and soak up everything they see others do around them, they are going to interpret the mother’s actions, words and love as to how society is. That is the underlying reason why, it is of the utmost importance, that women recognize their power and strength. It must be understood that women are the most dominant specie ever created, and within every woman is the power to change the world.
From the moment a child is brought into the world, mothers immediately begin to set the tone. As mothers, we are one of our children’s most influential role models, due to our close proximity in their lives. They watch what we say and do, all day long. We teach our children how to practically apply the values we instill within them, by living them out in daily situations.
We MUST UNDERSTAND, if you do not respect yourself, then no one else is going to respect you. Others certainly would not respect your children, if it appears that neither of you are worth it.
People oftentimes say, “Respect is not given, it is earned.” While I believe that every person should be owed a certain level of respect, today, that is not being practiced. There was a time, way back then, when women had standards, and if you failed to display any, people would give you neither say, nor time of day.
Nowadays, it is apparent that those values and morals have gone out the window. It is a sad reality and, in return, mothers, by example, are teaching their sons and daughters not to have any.
As I oftentimes ponder about the negative image some young females insist on portraying, flaunting and disrespecting themselves in the streets, it becomes more obvious that mothers need to instill in daughters self-confidence and unconditional love for themselves — the right tools and knowledge to thrive and survive in this world.
Because moms have lived life, a lot ahead of their daughters, and they have seen it all, “Mom knows better” is not a cliché phrase, but a truth. In fact, a mother should be able to make her daughter believe that she can always count on her mom to be there, when she needs emotional support.
This lesson is so important for a young girl, that mothers should not forget that childhood sexual abuse is more common, than we think. Hence, it is of prime importance for young girls to learn to differentiate, between “good touch” and “bad touch”, because many young children do not have a clue, when it happens — either because they are too young or totally ignorant. And mothers must talk to them about their private parts in an age-appropriate language, starting from when they are toddlers.
As evident, from all I have said herein, my main suggestion is that mothers and young Black women have the power to control certain things, and it starts right in the home.
In the classic poem, written by William Ross Wallace, entitled “What Rules the World”, he said that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. Such a statement truly illustrates the influence a mother has on her child and, in the long run, to society: that as a mother strives to nurture and teach a child, she explicitly makes the world a much better place.
Mothers have often shaped our world, from the cradle, by rocking, nurturing and instructing children, who grow up to make life-changing and history-making accomplishments.
So, my Mother’s Day message to women is, Happy Mothers’ Day! Remember that you possess the power, so stand tall, like a tower, poised to change the world forever.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is the Chair of the Rights and Freedom Committee at the Black Community Resource Centre. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.