Post by: Sasha Saur
It reminds me of hanging plants, and handwritten notes.
But it also reminds me of the vast number of women around the world living without the capacity to support or embrace their children (or their freedom) because they are inhibited by their culture, husbands, religion, violence, gender, government, illiteracy, illness, abuse, addiction, mental state or physical pain.
I recently read the story of a young woman in India who grew up watching her mother being physically abused every day. Rain or shine, beatings were in order for them both. It’s hard convincing her that she’s worth something, when her brothers always surpass her in the eyes of her father and those in her community. She knows that this is the kind of life she will potentially walk into when she gets married, perhaps bringing a daughter into the same life she grieves to know. She hadn’t ever been given anything before she had the chance to become literate as an adult. It was the first time she felt confidence, value, strength and hope (read the full story here).
This young woman knows hardship, as countless others around us do. She knows that without literacy, she would have never felt that she could start a business, send her daughters to school alongside her sons, or know that she didn’t have to be at the mercy of an abusive spouse. The truth is, a mother who is literate is healthier (and so are her kids), fulfilled, and will be worth more in the long run because she believes in herself. Perhaps our culture defines us, or our past, or our pain. In the case of this young woman, it wasn’t her past but her future that changed the way she saw everything.
She isn’t a mother yet, but she will be.
The empowerment she has found now makes all the difference. Can you imagine what her life would be like, had her mother been literate too?
Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who endure hardship and remain strong. To those of you who get out of bed every day and choose joy. To those of you who have lost children, or lost yourselves in broken marriages. To those who have seized opportunities to learn as adults, pursue dreams, and seek equality. To those of you who live with partners who support your life as a mother. To those of you who do it on your own. To those of you who will be mothers someday.
Whether it be tulips & stained glass you look upon this day, or wreckage and sorrow, know that you are valuable—and that hope can look like literacy. Hope can look like sunshine. Hope can look like Rain.
Mother’s Day is the day she is treated like an equal. The day she is literate. The day she is free.
I am Sasha Saur. I am inspired by the capacity for good.