On Love, Mothers, and the Legacy of Women

Monkey motherIt’s Mother’s Day here in Australia and it’s a great cause for celebration.

Not that we need an excuse to celebrate women, but it sure doesn’t hurt. Today serves as a great reminder of the role mothers play in our day-to-day lives.

They love their children so much they are willing to die for them.

So, without further ado, I’d like to share with you some lessons I’ve learned from my mother. She’s single-handedly one of the most impressive women I know, but she would be too shy to admit it!

Which is why I think it’s important to pass on her wisdom so others can benefit.

Let’s start from the beginning…

Life is too short, make the most of it

My maternal grandmother fell down the stairs.

Bam. Bam. Bam. 

She got up and went to the kitchen. “I’m fine,” she told everyone.

But deep down, my mother knew something was wrong. My grandmother wasn’t the same after that. She started throwing tantrums. Plates soared through the air and my mum had to dodge away from them.

The evil force was eventually revealed: my grandmother had a brain tumour.

She died when my mother was still a teenager. At the tender age of 16, she had to take care of herself and the household.

Growing up, my mother always told me these stories. She taught me that we must treasure life because we never know when it’s going to end.

We talked a lot about death during my childhood. It was never the big elephant in the room. And I think that helped when we later discovered my mother’s illness.

Death makes us humble. It’s what makes life so beautiful.

Don’t let others destroy your vision

My mother never had her eyes set on a life behind a stove with children to feed and a house to clean.

She wanted something more out of life. She had a greater vision.

She wanted to become a savvy businesswoman. When my mother decides on something, she doesn’t give up until she gets what she wants.

It’s both admirable and inspirational. And when it comes to executing on her great vision, she’s in great company.

But she endured relentless resistance. Back in the 1970s, Sweden wasn’t the “gender equal” country as it is known for today. My mother fought for her ideas against bureaucratic men who thought that women couldn’t lead a successful business.

It turns out they were wrong, including my grandfather. They lived in a different mindset. Their ideals of women reflected an older generation.

Well, my mother had to fight hard and long. She could never change my grandfather’s perspective on women.  But together with other strong women, she was part of a movement that would change the world for both men and women.

This is the freedom our world is starting to experience today – some thirty years down the line.

It takes time and effort from a lot of people for society to change.

Be generous and help others grow

My mother is one of the most generous and thoughtful people I know. It’s like she can’t help it.

She has served customers for more than 40 years. And she still serves them with a smile on her face! That’s what I’d like to call job satisfaction. I truly hope both you and I can find something that gives us so much energy and such a strong sense of purpose in life.

She always remembers people’s birthdays and she finds a way to do something special for them. It doesn’t have to be anything too big because it is the thought that counts: the fact that you care about that person. Don’t fake it, though, because in the long run, only true authenticity wins.

The important lesson here is the value of generosity.

The art of giving is a meaningful human interaction and we need to do more of it. It’s gratifying on so many levels.

Thank your mother today

Celebrate her. Let her know how much she means to you. We don’t say it enough.

We owe so much to the young and old mothers of the world.

As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.

Photo by: Rennett Stowe

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