[January 18, 2023] Another question to ask, and one that must precede this one. “What is the role of the mother?” And my answer to that is the role of the mother is to be aware of the real world; she must be awake to its tragedies and malevolence. But, what is the sacrifice of the mother?
I had a good friend, a female Army Major (we were both Majors at the time, both 30 years old), and she was very career-oriented, smart, and articulate. She was an Engineer like me, although she had been commissioned as an Engineer and had more experience in that field. We often spoke about engineer challenges, the typical career kind of chatter you will always hear.
One day she said she had decided not to “bring a child into this world because there are too many people on the planet.” I thought this was a terrible decision and told her so. It wasn’t a very original thought or well-considered. Her decision deserved a little criticism, and I was okay being that person to tell her so.
The Club of Rome was the one that prophesized that the world population would grow to such a point by the year 2000 that there would be mass starvation. They were spectacularly wrong. The Club of Rome also compared humans to a virus (or cancer) that was destroying the world. Their metaphor is poorly chosen. Viruses you destroy. Is there an interest to “destroy” humans? I think not.
If you are a mother who is worth your salt, you offer your children to be destroyed by the world. That’s what you do. Your children will be born; they will suffer, have trouble in life, and then die. If you are awake as a mother, you know that to be true. Yet, you also know that it will be worth it if your children live a proper life. Then you try to make that happen. Of course, this is the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
That is the sacrifice of the mother.
Is it right to bring a baby into this terrible world? Every woman surely asks herself that question. Some say no, and they have their reasons. Mary is the archetype who answers yes. That is an act of supreme courage on her part. She knows what’s to come. She knows what will happen, and she is the woman who says yes to life, knowing full well what life is, not naïve, willful blindness.
The strong mother is the one who tells their kids to “get out there and take your lumps; you can handle it.”
In turn, the children offer themselves to the world so completely that any betrayal, torture, or death does not break their faith in the world. This is an ancient story we have documented as far back as written records. That is the model for the honorable person.
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