Ever since the thirteen original British Colonies became a free nation on this continent, so-called scholars have argued over which variables elevated the United States of America into greatness, and its current superpower status. Some of the usual arguing points are: freedom, virtue, values, morals, capitalist economics, rational thought, politicians, government, religion, compassion, self-reliance, rugged individualism, incentive, ingenuity, determination, and military power.
I would like to argue that the undergirding foundation of American greatness incorporates each and every one of these important components into her basic character. American Mothers are a huge determining factor in our status and longevity as a great nation, and as we are nurtured into adulthood, our fabulous Moms deserve much more credit than they normally receive.
For instance: Mom stands as a beacon of freedom as she gives us an umbrella of liberty, underneath which we can make all sorts of mistakes to learn from. She even lets us wear that Che Guevara T-Shirt in public then in private, teaches us the true facts about this ruthless, Communist Revolutionary.
Mom teaches us virtue when we are forced to admit we did not actually brush our teeth for bed but merely ran water over the toothbrush. If we ever lie to her again, she promises to wash our mouth out with lye soap. Mom injects us with proper values when she makes us mow the lawn instead of playing video games on a Saturday afternoon. Then as a reward, she buys us the latest “Call to Duty” video game.
Mom shines as a pillar of morals by reminding us to be home by 11:00pm from our date, and is waiting patiently on the couch to monitor our arrival. She also listens as we attempt that first awkward kiss on the front porch. Mom teaches us about capitalist economics as she argues with City Hall over our right to operate a lemonade stand on the sidewalk in front of our house. Liberal politicians want to have her arrested and carted off to jail, but they cower in reaction to her solid arguments at the Town Council meeting.
Mom engages in rational thought when she convinces our teacher that we deserve a better grade in English class. And, that she will not allow her children to participate in Common Core because of its mega-liberal bias. Mom is a politician when she breaks up a sibling squabble then hands each of us a Klondike Bar. She forces her children to hug one another and apologize before handing them that delicious ice cream treat.
Mom governs us when we want to eat another Klondike bar instead of our broccoli at dinner. Sorry President Bush but broccoli is indeed good for us. Mom won’t let us leave the table until we eat every last bite of it, or drop it down to the dog underneath our feet.
Mom fills us with religion every weekend at Church as our Sunday Schoolteacher. She also makes sure we are appropriately dressed to display respect for the church environment.
Mom shows us compassion when patching up a scraped knee from a biking accident in the driveway, or letting us cry on her shoulder after we break up with our significant other. She didn’t really like that liberal punk we were dating anyway.
Mom teaches us self-reliance when she encourages us that we can indeed figure out that last math problem on our own. She also teaches us to wash, dry and fold our own dirty laundry.
Mom shows us how rugged individualism can help mold our character when she makes us walk those twelve long blocks to junior high school, always reminding us that her grandfather had to walk 5 miles to a one-room school house to receive his six years of education.
Mom instills incentive into us when she gives us an extra twenty bucks because we earned all A’s on our most recent report card. She also reminds us of that B- we got last semester in Civics class. That will never happen again, we promised her.
Mom teaches us ingenuity by motivating us to be extra creative with our Science project. She buys all of the raw materials then watches diligently as we create a better mousetrap. We learn determination from Mom when she helps us with batting practice until its dark outside, and then we get a single and a double in our next Little League game. After the ballgame she treats the entire team to smoothies, even our All Star girl pitcher.
Mom endorses military power as she pins a set of gold Naval Aviator Wings onto the left side of our white uniform shirt. The mere touch of her hand says she will catch us if ever we fall.
Many women give birth, but it takes a very special lady to be truly maternal. A very Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful Moms out there in America.
Let Freedom Ring God Help Us
Speak the Truth Then Endure the Consequences
Randy Arrington, PhD