Mother’s Day was yesterday in the US, though the occasion is celebrated in scores of countries on various dates. It began here in 1908 when Anna Jarvis chose to celebrate the work her mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis, had done as a peace activist caring for the wounded in the Civil War. Her daughter was later upset that Hallmark Cards and others had begun to commercialize the holiday.
I love delving into the reasons for things, whether it’s Labor Day, or the phrase “big wigs,” or why you call a group of crows a “murder.” I’ve applied the same curiosity to my consulting work with Fortune 500 firms and my coaching work with entrepreneurs globally. I’ve found some interesting dynamics result.
One is that sometimes “there’s no sound reason for it, it’s just our policy.” (I am not making this up.) Sometimes it’s a reaction to effect without searching for a cause. (I just project louder because the microphone is always scratchy.) If you follow a Gaussian Curve, you’ll find that possibilities rise and fall based on likely causes, not mindless adherence to ritual. I can see what’s taking place, but I want to know why.
My point is that Mother’s Day had a very strong original purpose, as do many things with the durability to last in a fungible society. I like to know the reason for things. It tends to create more meaning than a day off or a Hallmark Card can.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. —Marie Curie
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