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Mother's Day, a good idea gone bad

Posted May 3

Setting aside one special day to honor our mothers was a good idea. But, by doing that, we inadvertently created 364 days when we do not honor them.

Can you imagine someone giving you life, feeding you, caring for you and providing everything you needed as a young child and then you spending only a few minutes of one day each year to thank her? Ridiculous, right?

Since we set aside one day to honor our mothers each year, we feel we have done our obligatory duty when we visit them, give them a Mother’s Day card that expresses our thanks (most often in the words of someone who doesn’t even know our mothers) and bring a gift of flowers or candy. If we live far away from our mothers, we do our "visit" by phone or electronic connections. Then, once we’ve "honored" our mothers, we wait 364 days before we "honor" them again.

Considering all she’s done for us, shouldn’t we honor her every day? Each one of us could make a huge difference in our families if we decided to make every day Mother's Day.

If every day were Mother’s Day, what would you do differently?

I've often asked myself, "If I could go back in time, how would I honor my mother 365 days of every year?"

I would start by saying thank you to my mother often. I would pick up my things when I finished using them. I would smile each day. I would say, "I’d be glad to," when she asked me to do something for her. I would listen when she spoke to me. I would volunteer to do things around the house to lighten her load. I would tell her I love her.

As a teenager I would be pleasant and not argue with her. I would learn to express appreciation for the things she did. I would ask about things she did when she was a teenager.

As I grew older I would learn things from her. I would ask her questions, ask for her advice and express my love. I would ask about her parents and grandparents and learn all I could about them.

I’m certain I would not always succeed in honoring my mother each day as well as I would like, but I would try, and in trying I would practice these honoring skills until they became part of me.

How will you treat every day as Mother's Day now?

Now I have a family of my own. I try to do little acts of kindness for my wife, the mother of my children. I express my love to her often. I thank her for the many things she does for me and our children daily. I make a conscious effort to listen when she talks to me. I respect her opinions.

I am not perfect in doing these things, but since I have tried to make every day Mother’s Day, acts of kindness have come back to me and it feels like every day is Father’s Day.

I am not the first one to discover this principle. In Ecclesiastes 11:1 it reads, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” I understand this to mean that whatever you do to others will come back to you. So, when you do nice things for others, nice things come back to you.

In Luke 9:24 we are told what Jesus said more than 2,000 years ago: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” To me this means that when we lose our lives in service to others, we make them happy; and when they are happy, we feel happy too.

You see, by honoring our mothers every day of the year, we would actually be blessing our own lives more than we could imagine.

But Mother’s Day goes bad when we honor Mom only once a year.

So make a goal to make your wife or mother happy every day. Make every day feel like Mother’s Day. Then, Mother's Day will be a good idea gone even better.

Derold E Bates is a retired educator living in Pocatello, Idaho. His latest book, "Three Steps to Success in Parenting and in Life," may be found on line at successinparenting.com. Questions or comments may be e-mailed to debates3@gmail.com .

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