Mama Elle believes that the multiplied power of a mother's love can raise up a nation of healthy, whole, thriving Americans. The nations of the world that are best for mothers are highly correlated with the richest, healthiest, most intelligent, and happiest nations. Societies that respect their mothers and care for their children are societies that grow and thrive. The United States of America, like many a bright young child, has a combination of vast potential and generous room for improvement. We, the mothers of our nation, have the privilege and the responsibility to help our country learn, grow, and mature.
"The hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world."
-W. R. Wallace
Mama Elle's Perspective
The world is changing faster than it ever has during the 100,000 years since human civilizations first began to develop. Prehistoric people lived on the very edge of annihilation, barely producing enough children who survived to reach sexual maturity. The benefits of civilization are obvious, and though none in history has been without its rough patches and sticky problems, quality of life and life expectancy for the average human have steadily increased. And we Americans now find ourselves part of the most powerful human civilization that has ever existed.
How ironic that we are inundated with cries from all corners that the sky is falling. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the political landscape can look bleak. But hankering for some mythic "good old days" is folly; there is nowhere to go but forward. Becoming a parent is the greatest emotional investment in the future a person can make. Bearing a child is the greatest act of hope. And we can reduce our anxiety amidst the cacophony of alarm bells by stepping back and considering the big picture.
How far have we come since pioneer days? What modern American family still tends a whole graveyard in the back garden for the children who didn't make it? Can you imagine having no such thing as a middle class or antibiotics or indoor plumbing or even toilet paper? And how far have we come since the times of slavery and civil war? How far have we come since women did not have the right to vote, choose our own haircuts, or wear a bathing suit in which it was possible to swim? How far have we come since the Mad Men days of overt, heavy-handed sexism in the workplace and at home? Do you remember what it was like keeping track of children and other family members just a couple decades ago, in the 1990s, before cell phones and email?
Every new day brings unfamiliar challenges, but it also brings fresh gifts and opportunities. I like to bring a healthy dose of perspective to each controversy, not to diminish its importance, but to frame it with a sense of hope and possibility. We have the power, as mothers, to appreciate the rights and luxuries our ancestors made possible for us and to pay it forward by building an even brighter future for our children.
Bread and roses!