A Mother’s Work And Her Hopes by Arthur Brisbane

Story type: Essay

This editorial is not written for women. It is written for MEN, and for boys; for the millions who fail to appreciate the work that mothers do, for the millions that ignore the self-sacrifice and devotion upon which society is based.

On a hot night, in the dusty streets of a dirty city, you see hundreds of women sitting in the doorways, TAKING CARE OF BABIES.

In lonesome farm houses, far out on monotonous plains, with the late sun setting on a long day of hard work, you find women, cheerful and persevering, TAKING CARE OF BABIES.

In the middle of the night, in earliest morning, when MEN sleep, all over the world, in ice huts North, in southern tents, in big houses and in dingy tenements, you find women awake, cheerfully and gladly TAKING CARE OF BABIES. —-

We respect and praise the man selfishly working for himself.

If he builds up a great industry and a great personal fortune, we praise him.

If he risks his life for personal glory and for praise, we praise him.

If he shows courage even in saving his own carcass from destruction, we praise him.

There was never a man whose courage, or devotion, could be compared with that of a woman caring for her baby.

The mother’s love is unselfish, and it has no limit this side of the grave.

You will find ONE man in a thousand who will risk his life for a cause.

You will find a THOUSAND women in a thousand who will risk their lives for their babies.

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Everything that a man has and is he owes to his mother. From her he gets health, brain, encouragement, moral character, and ALL his chances of success.

How poorly the mother’s service is repaid by men individually, and by society as a whole!

The individual man feels that he has done much if he gives sufficient money and a LITTLE attention to her who brought him from nothingness into life and sacrificed her sleep and youth and strength for his sake.

Society, the aggregate of human beings, feels that its duty is done when a few hospitals are opened for poor mothers, and a little medicine doled out in cold-hearted fashion to the sick child.

Fortunately, it may truly be said that the great man is almost always appreciative of his greater mother.

Napoleon was cold, jealous of other men, monumentally egotistical when comparing himself with other sons of women. But he reverenced and appreciated the noble woman who bore him, lived for him, and watched over him to the end. He said:

“It is to my mother, to her good principles, that I owe my success and all I have that is worth while. I do not hesitate to say that the future of the child depends on the mother.” —-

The future of the individual child depends on the individual mother, and the future of the race depends on the mothers of the race.

Think what has been done for mankind by thousands of millions of perfectly devoted mothers.

Every mother is entirely DEVOTED, entirely HOPEFUL, entirely CONFIDENT that no future is too great for her baby’s deserts.

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The little head–often hopelessly ill-shaped–rolls about feebly on the thin neck devoid of muscles. The toothless gums chew whatever comes along. The wondering eyes look feebly, aimlessly about, without focus or concentration. The future human being, to the cold-blooded onlooker, is a useless little atom added to the human sea of nonentity.

But to the mother that baby is the marvel of all time. There is endless meaning in the first mumblings, endless soul in the senile, baby smile, unlimited possibilities in the knobby forehead and round, hairless head. She sees in the future of the baby responsibilities of government, and feels that one so perfectly lovely must eventually be acclaimed ruler by mankind.

As a result of perfect confidence in its future, the mother gives to every baby perfect devotion, perfect and affectionate moral education. Each child begins life inspired by the most beautiful example of altruism and self-sacrifice.

Kindness has gradually taken the place of brutality among human beings, because every baby at its birth has found itself surrounded by absolute kindness.

The mother’s kindness forms moral character.

The mother’s confidence and encouragement stimulate ambition and inspire courage.

The mother’s patient watchfulness gives good health, and fights disease when it comes.

The mother’s wrathful protection shields the child from the stern and dwarfing severity of fathers.

Truly, a man may and should be judged by his feeling toward his own mother, and toward the mothers of other men–of ALL men.

In the character of Christ, whose last earthly thought on Golgotha was for His Mother, as in the character of the hard-working, ignorant man whose earnings go to make his mother comfortable, the most beautiful trait is devotion to the mother who suffers and works for her children, from the hours that precede their birth through all the years that they spend on earth together.

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Honor thy father and THY MOTHER.

And honor the mothers of other men. Make their task easier through fair payment of the men who support the children, through good public schools for their children, through respectful treatment of ALL women.

The mother is happy. For she knows “the deep joy of loving some one else more than herself.”

You honor yourself, and prove yourself worthy of a good mother and of final success, when you do something for the mothers of the world.

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