Today I walked around New York City for a few hours, very quietly observing the people that passed me by. Maybe because Mother’s Day is Sunday, I thought about each person I saw as someone’s child. I thought about what their mothers may have dreamed for them in their lives. I watched an elderly woman and wondered how long it has been since she hugged her mother. How would her mother feel watching her child limp down the block as an eighty-year-old woman? I imagined a homeless man’s mother. Does she know where he is? How did he become homeless? I even saw an angry middle-aged man and thought, would a hug from his mother make a difference?
What happened to me today when I saw everyone as someone’s child? My heart split open with compassion. I thought about how each person’s mother would want the world to treat her child. I thought about the kindness I hope my children will experience in the world when I am not around or when I leave this earth. Suddenly I started to cry. I imagined the heartbreak and joy every mother must have experienced with each person I passed and the hope that her child would be okay in the world. My heart opened so wide that all I could do was smile at people, hold a door a few seconds longer and make small talk wherever I went. Even though these were small acts of kindness, I had the larger realization that I need to treat each person that I meet each day the same way I want the world to treat my children.
For the few remaining days before Mother’s Day, Maybe you can try this practice when you are at work, running errands or just walking around town. We can have much more compassion and kindness when we see everyone we meet as someone’s child. It certainly keeps the love coming!
As mothers, if we can open our hearts to the world, Maybe it is the beginning of creating a more caring and loving society? Just Maybe.