Mothers’ Day is a great day to show appreciation for our mothers. In this year of the pandemic, mothers have been particularly challenged by economic hardships, increased isolation, and the need to take on even more roles than usual.
While the gifts of Mothers’ Day may be sweet, we think mothers deserve much more than one day of attention! Wouldn’t a more peaceful, respectful world with policies that support children and families (like a living wage, universal health care, affordable child care, and paid family leave, for starters) be life-saving for mothers (and others)? How about ending our endless wars that traumatize or kill children around the world?
Mothers and Others For Peace (MOFP) works toward building a peaceful future. We are inspired by Julia Ward Howe’s rallying cry to women to stop wars after the terrible loss of life in the Civil War, and her call for women to gather together once a year on a “Mothers’ Day” to focus on ways to find peace.
In past years, we have hosted events to mark the activist roots of Mothers’ Day with gatherings of writers, musicians and speakers, as well as flower-making, displays, and peace book discussions at the Oak Park Public Library.
This year, we again join with the library to feature materials for adults and children on peace and peacemakers. All these materials may be checked out of the collection, and you can find them at oppl.org/peace-titles.
If you stop in at the Oak Park Main Branch Library, you will also find Mothers and Others For Peace bookmarks available for free in a lobby display, as well as at the Maze Branch in the “Holds” area. Our bookmark contains lyrics from a song about Julia Ward Howe recorded by Tom Chapin. Give it a listen; it is inspiring! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fvt99fHtsk)
And while our ability to come together in person is limited for now, we hope everyone will take a moment to reflect and commit to one thing you can do for peace in honor of Mothers’ Day this year. Whether you contact a legislator on an issue that could make life more peaceful, start a conversation with someone whose views differ from your own, make an overture of peace to someone you’ve been in conflict with, or simply spread the word about the roots of Mothers’ Day as part of a quest for a more peaceful world, you can join us in trying to bring peace into our communities, our families and the world.
Mary Rose Lambke, Susan Messer, Mary Ellen Munley, Marilyn Myles, Kathleen Perry, Sue Piha, Cynthia Robinson, Diane Scott, and our wonderful partner at the Oak Park Public Library, Kathleen Spale, are the MOFP movers and shakers.
We give thanks to the League of Women Voters of Oak Park-River Forest for their support, and to Kyrsten Benoit for her design of our beautiful logo.
Find more information about us and Julia Ward Howe on Facebook at: facebook.com/MothersAndOthersForPeace
Peace and Happy Mothers’ Day.