Virginia Harris, C.S.B. – The Golden Rule of Mothering – Special Edition – Mother’s Day Weekend – 2014

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This weekend is Mother’s Day in the US, Canada, and Mexico, as well as over 50 other countries in the world. I like to think this day is much larger and deeper than honoring a loving parent – it is a symbol of unconditional love for your neighbor, regardless of family connection.

When you remove gender from ‘mother,’ the definition becomes all inclusive and the genuine mothering qualities become accessible to everyone. Therefore, ‘to mother’ is to care for or protect someone – anyone – as a loving mother would.

Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

 

 

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Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

The Golden Rule of Mothering

Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

08th May 2014

 

I must admit, there are lots of pluses about social media in this day and age. Sure, it’s easy to see the minuses, but one of the overwhelming positives is when people share what is truly meaningful to them. I love that.

These tweets or Facebook posts are usually very simple moments of every day life that resonate – maybe it’s a quote, a blog post or video that shows extraordinary acts of kindness that occur naturally, not for show. In a video for example, the true heart of the person – or even animal! – is captured, and the heart of all the observers is touched. Like a pebble in a pond, a single unconscious and selfless act radiates out to hundreds of thousands.

The stories that really move me – and I mean move me to tears! – are the examples of individuals being good neighbors to those who are in need, stepping in without hesitation, caring for each other, lifting each other up, going above and beyond the conventional response to make a meaningful difference in the other person’s life. It is as if they have unfailingly answered, “If I don’t, who will?”

To me, these examples give evidence of the Golden Rule in action – a practice specifically recommended and revered by enduring faith traditions and philosophies of the world. Christ Jesus, following Judaic law, stated that loving your neighbor as yourself is the second most important commandment to follow after the first commandment of loving God supremely and only, and in all ways. In fact, adhering to the second commandment is how one fulfills the first. That’s how important it is.

This weekend is Mother’s Day in the US, Canada, and Mexico, as well as over 50 other countries in the world. I like to think this day is much larger and deeper than honoring a loving parent – it is a symbol of unconditional love for your neighbor, regardless of family connection.

When you remove gender from ‘mother,’ the definition becomes all inclusive and the genuine mothering qualities become accessible to everyone. Therefore, ‘to mother’ is to care for or protect someone – anyone – as a loving mother would.

Think how uplifting your day can be by seeing your neighbor, mothering your neighbor, as the Father-Mother Love sees the neighbor: inherently spiritual, good, cared for, safe, free and loved.

In this way, your light shines because you are seeing the light in others. And whoever especially needs this touch, this embrace, will feel loved and lifted up from whatever is attempting to keep them down and suffering.

About a year ago, a powerful video was shared on Facebook that showed how one man cared so much about protecting and preserving the dignity of a stranger that he saved his life. It is a short documentary called Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the story is about Sergeant Kevin Briggs of the California Highway Patrol whose job includes persuading individuals not to jump from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

While this role may be in Sergeant Briggs’ job description, the comfort and hope he expresses, the light he shines, the mothering of his unconditional love comes from a power within, it seems to me. There is simply no judgment in his kindness, only care, respect, dignity. In fact, at the moment of choosing life or death, only this mother-love touched and saved a man’s life. And, as you will see from the video, this man’s life was truly changed for good. (For an epilogue, click here.)

Wouldn’t you love to change someone’s life for the better, meet their need or even heal their pain and suffering? You can. Live the second commandment “…love thy neighbor as thyself,” let your light shine by seeing the light – the spiritual qualities – in your neighbors. Live your inherent mother-love and you will make a difference in someone’s life. It’s that important…it is a golden lesson for life!

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