In Praise of All Women Everywhere

As today is International Women’s Day, let’s take time to give thought to the many influential women in our lives. All the mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, daughters, step-daughters, aunts, sisters, nieces, friends, role models, and we women ourselves are part of the same glorious tapestry.

Of course we think of the “great” women such as Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary the mother of Jesus, all the women who achieved greatness and renown in the fields of medicine, teaching, science, politics, art and so on. But the women we know and learn from the best are the women in our family.

Take our moms, for example. My mother has been and is my best friend, teacher, guide, role model and the voice of reason. From the time I could walk, she taught me the skills I needed to become a responsible adult. She loved me, cared for me, helped me, listened to me, and guided me in all things I needed to live fully and independently. Growing up, I had chores to do, and if I didn’t do them to her satisfaction, I did them until they were done right. I didn’t much like it at the time, but I learned. By the time I was out of the house and on my own, I could do everything from hold down a job, pay my bills, maintain my car, take care of my health, cook, bake, iron, sew and keep my home clean.

Our mothers teach us life values by example. Moms show us how to give and receive love, understanding, compassion and kindness, and how to be honest and live our lives with enthusiasm, gratitude and joy. They instruct us in fair play, and make sure that we understand that each of our actions has a consequence; good or bad.  They show us courage and grace from the way that they handle adversity. We learn how to trust from our moms, and how to treat others. It was from my mom that I learned that I wasn’t the center of the universe, but part OF it. I learned from her that the fact that I had feelings meant that everyone around me had them, too. The life lesson? Treat others as you want to be treated.

Our mothers may not be famous or recognized in the world for ground-breaking achievements, but they achieve greatness to US from what they give, and continue to give, to our lives. Today, it being International Women’s Day, let’s reflect on our own moms. Would we be who we are today without their guiding hands and hearts?

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