Julia Ward Howe first proposed Mother’s Day of Peace in 1870 as a day for mothers to stand together and work for peace. After seeing the devastation that ripped apart the country during the Civil War and watching the unfolding Franco-Prussian war, she called for mothers everywhere to be the torchbearers of peace and compassion.
“Arise then women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts!…Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
The heart of a mother is so full of love, compassion, peace, mercy and tenderness that war has no place in it. Howe felt a day of armistice and advancing the frontline of peace should be set aside to honor the beauty of mother’s love.
Although Howe was unsuccessful in getting Mother’s Day for Peace to catch on, her passionate idea inspired one young woman to start a Mother’s Day program at her church in 1907. It soon caught on all over the United States and eventually the world. Mother’s Day is now celebrated in 40 countries.
This Mother’s Day why not honor your mother and the strength of her heart by nurturing peace?
Here are 5 ways to work for peace:
1) Pray – Whether prayer for you is formally talking to God or communing with nature, connect with something larger than yourself and feel the spirit of Love.
2) Educate Yourself – Awareness is the first step to peace. Ignorance breeds fear and fear creates conflict. Find a group or an area of the world you have inner conflict with and research all the good things about its culture, such as food, dance, music or history.
3) Join/Start a Peace Group – There are many beautiful organizations across the world that work for peace. Find one that inspires you and join. Have your voice be counted! If you can’t find one that matches your interests, start your own. Ask your friends and neighbors to join.
4) Organize a Peace Prayer Day — One inspired woman’s Sunday school program at a West Virginia church sparked an international holiday. What will you do? Get a group of souls together and march, paint, sing or otherwise express peace.
5) Commit yourself to 40 days of non-violence. Meditate every day. Breathe deeply. Speak kindly. Be peace.
Here are some suggestions for an inspiring soundtrack as you work for peace:
“Servant of Peace” by Snatam Kaur
Snatam beautifully combines St. Francis’s soulful prayer for peace with a timeless mantra for protection.
“Interfaith Prayer” by Snatam Kaur
Hear the name for God sung in many different languages and visualize a world brought together in harmony and love for the divine.
“Ong Sohung” By Snatam Kaur
Let “I am peace, peace is in me” become your new mission statement.
“Simara Simara” by Satkirin Kaur
Let the shabad guru carry you into a state of greater peace within.
“Deep Peace” by Ashana
Singing bowls and a Celtic blessing will invoke a peaceful prayer in your heart.
“The Love and Light of Guru Ram Dass” by Harnam Singh and Sat Jot Singh
Groove into feeling peaceful with this cool track.