---Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
Happy Mother's Day to all mothers!
It is Mother's Day weekend, and Sunday is a day that celebrates the very essence of love. Mothers, by nature, sacrifice their wants (and often their needs) for their children. From the minute that squirmy little child is placed in a mother's arms, a fierce protectiveness and overwhelming love fills her heart. A bond is formed that nothing can destroy, and your mother is the one person who will stand by you when all others have turned their backs.
It is difficult to stand by someone, when he/she has done something that goes against your moral fiber, yet prison visiting areas are filled with mothers who continue to believe that there is more good than bad in the child whom they raised. It is that love that is a lifeline for those who have gone astray. It is that type of love that will overcome the fears that we all face each day.
Our world has become a scary place, and many days I just want to gather my family together and lock my doors against every possible enemy. Unfortunately, there is no protection against all people who are determined to do us harm, anymore than there is total protection against disease determined to strike us. We can blockade and vaccinate ourselves, but there are always those people and those bacteria that will find their way into our lives. We cannot let our fears take over, because then our enemies will surely have won.
People who look different than us, or those who pray to a different (or no) God, are sometimes difficult to relate to, and our first inclination is to put up walls. Technology has introduced us to many wonderful things that we might never have experienced before, but in opening those windows we have allowed fears to enter. While a century ago we were only aware of the crimes and aggressions that occurred in our immediate surroundings, today television and computers bring everything into our homes. It is only natural for us to become fearful, but we need to fight those feelings.
We are conditioned to fear the unknown, but Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is right. We must choose love above fear. We must open our arms to those who are different and learn their ways as we teach them ours. We must raise our children to look beyond superficial difference and recognize the worth of everyone around them. We must build bridges as we tear down walls. We must do this not for the strangers we meet, but we must do this for ourselves. Once we recognize the similarities in all around us, the fear that burdens us will melt away. When love wins, we will all win.
I realize I was a bit "preachy" there, but Surgeon General Murthy's quote inspired me, and after all, Mother's Day should allow me some leeway. Speaking of Mother's Day, we need to start teaching children how special their moms are from a very early age, so I reviewed two little books that toddlers might enjoy this weekend. Hero Mom by Melinda Hardin and What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother's Day by Martha Simpson are both simple little books that celebrate mothers.
If you want a different type of novel to give your mom for Mother's Day, Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders should definitely do the trick. It was weird and funny and sad, but it was definitely worth reading.
As always, complete reviews of these books follow this blog.