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MIKE MCKENNA: Don’t Just Wish Your Mom A Happy Mother’s Day


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Michael McKenna Contributor
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My mother has said the same thing about Mothers’ Day for decades: if you can’t remember me the other 364 days of the year, don’t bother remembering me on Mothers’ Day. She is not, obviously, a big fan of holidays created by marketing departments.

Like just about everyone, she prefers her holidays created the old-fashioned way — as a commemoration of an important religious event or experience.

That said, it is good and probably necessary that we set aside a day for people to reflect on the role of mothers in the lives of both individuals and societies. The simple and terrible reality is that for many of us, whatever happiness we have and our attitude towards life is a direct result of whether our mother loved us and gave us unconditional support and encouragement.

Fortunately for most of us, our moms have always been our biggest fans, our strongest supporters, and a constant and bottomless well of encouragement. For those of us lucky enough to have received that love and unreflecting confidence in childhood, it formed the foundation of every good thing — academic and work achievement, optimism, self-reliance and the resulting happiness — in later years.

Who taught you how to read? How to count? How to pray? Make a bed? Tie your shoes? Empty the dishwasher? Set the table? Discipline yourself? The list is endless, but you get the point.

Given their outsized influence on the lives of individuals, it is no surprise that mothers are also essential to societies and nations. Fertility rates in pretty much every country in the developed world and most in the developing world have dropped precipitously over the last 50 years.

Societies that value and encourage motherhood will have a definitive advantage.

Despite the fact that our sad, tragic civilization consistently attempts to devalue it, motherhood is the single most important contribution anyone can make to the human race. All other human accomplishments flow from it.

Mister Rogers would occasionally ask people to take a minute in silence to reflect on all of those who helped us become what we are. For most people, it is impossible to get through that exercise without becoming emotional at the rush of memories of people, both those no longer with us and those still very much with us.

For most of us, a good chunk of that minute should be spent on our mothers.

If you get a chance, if you have the chance, don’t just wish your mom a happy Mothers’ Day; let your mother know what she has meant to your life. If your mom is not among us anymore, say a prayer for her.

God knows she prayed enough for you.

Michael McKenna was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House. He co-hosts a weekly podcast, The Unregulated.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Michael McKenna