The Original Mother’s Day

I wrote this post a few years ago and it is still one of my favorites. Happy Mother’s Day to all women who embrace the peace-making power of their womanhood!

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Something amazing and inspiring was brought to my attention yesterday. I wanted to write about it today though to remind myself that Mother’s Day started out not just as a day for flowers and kissy face emoticons but as a response to war…a call to protest and proclamation. I didn’t know that! It’s troubling to me that Mother’s Day has been diminuated until all that remains is the sentimentality and a big hug for mom. We have lost touch with the roots of this celebration. Today there is a dialogue regarding the “war on women,” there is controversy surrounding contraception, there remains blatant wage inequality as well as the insidious ideological gender inequalities that reverberate in everyday conversations, and there is ongoing use of sexual malfeasances (to put it gently) that are still being used internationally as wartime strategies. I think now is a perfect age to restore some of the original tenants of Mother’s Day…

In 1870 Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation to call for the gathering of women together “without limit of nationality” in order to seek counsel from one another regarding the loss of sons and husbands in wars and to proclaim that, “From the bosum of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: ‘Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.'”

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As well-intentioned as we all are on Mother’s Day, our Hallmark-frenzied tradition in America is a far paler expression of honor than was conceptualized by the foremothers of this holiday. I would like to see my mother, grandmothers, step-mothers, sister, cousins, friends, and aunts and alllll the other wise women out there to all get something different for Mother’s Day next year. For Mother’s Day 2013, I want them to “leave all that may be left at home,” come together to counsel with one another about human rights, war, family, and future of this this country and this world.

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Then once they’ve come to an agreement about “the promotion of the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, and the great and general interests of peace” I want the rest of the world to sit and listen with the attentive ears of an child which, after all, we all are. I don’t know… for some reason I feel like this “congress of women” might be more productive than the one we have now. You?

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Here is the inspirational full story (borrowed from a reading I heard on Sunday) including Ms. Howe’s proclamation:

The first person to fight for an official Mother’s Day celebration in the United States was Julia Ward Howe. You may be more familiar with her name as the writer who wrote the words to the Civil War song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Howe was born in New York City on May 27, 1819. Her family was well respected and wealthy. She was a published poet and abolitionist. She and her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, co-published the anti-slavery newspaper The Commonwealth. She was active in the peace movement and the women’s suffrage movement. In 1870 she penned the Mother’s Day Proclamation. In 1872 the Mothers’ Peace Day Observance on the second Sunday in June was held and the meetings continued for several years. Her idea was widely accepted, but she was never able to get the day recognized as an official holiday. The Mothers’ Peace Day was the beginning of the Mothers’ Day holiday in the United States now celebrated in May.

The modern commercialized celebration of gifts, flowers and candy bears little resemblance to Howe’s original idea. Here is the Proclamation that explains, in her own powerful words, the goals of the original Mother’s Day in the United States…

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosum of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Weekend To-Do (Good) List: Shopping Edition!

Last month we brought you the Weekend To-Do (Good) List: Circus Edition, and I rather enjoyed using a theme. This week, the stars aligned again and a theme emerged…shopping! No, I’m not going to tell you to spend Palm Sunday at the mall. That might be my worst nightmare. I will however make the following shopping suggestions for bringing some good works into your busy weekend: Have a good one and may your dollars make some change!

~~~S Wave~~~

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1. Look Good While You Do Good

If you haven’t heard of Sevenly.org yet, it is time. This company produces very cool clothes with proceeds going to various charity organizations. The organization changes every week so it’s an exciting challenge to make your purchase before the clock runs out! No, I mean there really is a clock on their site counting down the time left. Pressure’s on!

This week, they’ve come up with trendy, comfy tees and jackets to support The Gentle Barn and especially its work with special needs and at-risk children. Check these styles out: Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 4.28.24 PM They always have great designs and artsy images. Obviously these would make great gifts too, for those of you who don’t want to spend money on yourselves. Find out more at www.sevenly.org!

2. Smart Easter Shopping

Easter is around the corner and though it is always tempting buy a real, live bunny for your little bundle of joy, please keep in mind the facts about cuniculture (yes, that is a word.) Cuniculture, or raising rabbits, is no joke and is just as much of a commitment as owning a dog or a cat. Maybe even harder! Rabbits aren’t generally the cuddly buddy you hope they will be. They tend to be more sensitive to noises, don’t usually like to be held, need a lot of quiet time and special housing, and they spray urine right on ya sometimes!

Now, of course there are exceptions to the rules, but unless you are ready to give your rabbit the time and energy it takes to bond with them, they will be facing a pretty sad life indeed–a life which, by the way, can last 10 years. Are you sure you want a pet rabbit until your child goes off to college??

In addition to all of that, breeding practices for rabbits are often cruel. Plus, post-Easter shoppers’ remorse results in abandoned, homeless rabbits and chicks every spring. So if you’re ABSOLUTELY sure you want to bring a rabbit into your family, raise it well no matter the cost, and give it the love it deserves, then please adopt, don’t shop.

Copy and share one of these Easter messages with your friends to spread this important information:EasterBunnyInfo

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3. Speaking of Palm Sunday…

Sunday is a special holiday as Christians celebrate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. It is a day typically celebrated with special worship services and family gatherings. For those of you celebrating this holy day, may it be a beautiful time of communion between you and the Divine.

The reason it is called Palm Sunday is because the scripture says that Jesus’ followers laid palm fronds across his path and waved them as he passed.  What a different symbolism palm leaves have in our current times! As we’ve written about before in past Life As a Wave posts, the rapid demand for and production of palm oil has been devastating to our earth’s rich biodiversity, especially in areas of South America, Africa, and southeast Asia.

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The campaigns to end the heartbreaking deforestation have been iconicized by the beautiful ape, the orangutan, which is facing the loss of massive amounts of its natural habitats.

laststand What can you do though, right? Once again, your money speaks. Palm oil can be tricky to spot since it’s derivatives go by so many names, but it’s likely that many of the items in your grocery cart contain palm oil. Now it’s easier than ever to find out for sure because the El Paso Zoo and SGB Solutions have designed the Palm Oil Guide and Scanner. This free app allows you to scan UPC codes to find out if your purchase contains palm oil or not. I downloaded the app yesterday and made some wiser shopping decisions for the future after scanning some items in my fridge.

There are palm oil alternatives flooding the market, and with our purchasing patterns plus our social media voice, change is possible.

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That’s all, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you have a beautiful weekend and remember to let your dollars make some change!

~~~S Wave~~~

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Weekend To-Do-Good List

It has been a while since I posted a Weekend To-Do-Good List. Here are a few actions that you can take to help others while you enjoy your weekend.

1. Want to keep Monsanto from being outside the law? Sign this petition along with hundreds of thousands of others and help Food Democracy Now repeal the Monsanto Protection Act. To find out more about the act, click here.

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2. Send aid to those hit hardest in Oklahoma by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Or, if you want to give more, click here for other suggestions of how to help.

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3.  Put aside your inhibition and over-analysis and give some money or to that person you encounter who looks like they could use it. It’s easy.

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4. Help get an app onto your phone that will let you save on all those organic, gluten-free, earth-friendly products you want but can’t always afford. Okay, I won’t lie…this one is near and dear to me. I have been helping a new company, makeena inc, raise money to develop their mobile app software. I couldn’t be more proud to be aligned with such a worthy cause. Food inequality needs to end and giving all shoppers access to healthy foods is part of the solution. If you can contribute just ten dollars it will go a long way toward our goal of $10,000. There are even rewards if you can give more! Visit our fundraising page at www.crowdfunder.com/campaign/393 to contribute. Then rally with us by sharing us with your friends.

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As always, it is a pleasure to share this moment online with you. Now go enjoy your weekend!

~~~S Wave~~~

Weekend Do Good Opportunity

Want to get your mind off of yourself for a while? Then read the story off this sweet pup that some acquaintances of mine just rescued off of the streets of L.A. There has been an organized effort for the last few days by a small group of animal rescuers and animal rights activists who are trying to get this guy the help he needs.

 

When the found him he was clearly homeless and injured. He has scrapes and cuts all over him. They’re not sure what happened to him but once they were able to get a better look it was evident that he had an injured back hip and that he had some kind of skin problem on his genitals.

Trying to avoid involvement with Animal Control since they would surely put him down or return him to his “owner” and since he was a friendly and non-threatening dog, they figured out a way to get him into a car and to the house of one couple who has offered to keep him safe until a foster placement can be found.

In the meantime, he needs a lot of veterinarian care. An x-ray shows that he has a displaced hipbone and he has a severe skin disorder which I won’t post a picture of here.

The good news is that he is in the hands of loving people now. To read his story, you can go to http://www.swaylove.org/neglected-alhambra-pit-bull-being-saved-from-the-streets-please-help. You can see the most heartwarming video ever here: Fitzgerald’s rescue. The people working to save him need help to get him all the care he needs. In addition to vet care,:

“These funds will also be put towards his potential hospital boarding (until a suitable foster can be found), to advertise for alignment with a reputable rescue, or any other things that he may need along the way. Surgery on his hip could also be in his foreseeable future, that’s yet to be determined and really primarily depends on his new vet’s opinion.”

Can you spare $5, $20, $100 for Fitzgerald? If so, you can click on http://claritysix.chipin.com/fitzgerald-neglected-alhambra-pit-bull and make an easy donation.