2017年1月25日水曜日

お母さん・Mom

今週、お母さんの大切さを考えさせた2人の女性の話を聞いた。

1人の女性は田舎のお家から都会まで、息子の葬儀に参列しに行った。息子さんは最近離婚した。少し後に、息子さんが自殺したという知らせがあった。息子さんは残った手紙で、寂しいって書いた。その女性の家族はあまりコミュニケーションが良くないそうだ。女性と息子さんはあまり連絡を取っていなかった。

残念だけど、これは彼女の初めての経験ではなかった。数年前、他の息子は初めてだった。生きるより、死ぬほうが楽だと思う人として、彼も寂しかったと思える。2人目の息子の葬儀に参列する女性の頭の中に、どんなことを考えるんだろう?

とても悲しい話だ。僕には、コミュニケーションが大切だということを教える話だ。関係を作ったり、育てたりするのが大切だ。人間は1人で生きていける生き物ではない。1人になると、死ぬのだ。いい関係を育てるために、オープンで正直なコミュニケーションが必要だ。

もう1人の女性は仕事に戻るかと考えている新しい母親だ。しかし、仕事に戻るために、何を払わないといけないのか、詳細に考えていないみたい。もちろん、金銭的な負担があるけど、それより大事な犠牲になることは時間を失うことと、子供の将来だ。

幼少期に、子供の周りに起こっていることがその子供の将来に影響を与えている。子供は7歳にある性格が死ぬまで変わらない可能性が高いので、健康的な性格を育てるために、7歳までの間に親に接することが大事だ。幼少期にも、高校生になっても、両親は子供の教育的な成功に影響を与える(子供に本を読んだり、学校の生活や宿題に興味を表す両親は子供の教育的な成功率を非常に上げる)。親が作る環境に発揮できて、子供を犯罪者やになったり、誰とでも寝る人になったりさせる遺伝はある。

子供には、特に幼少期に、お母さんが長い間に一番大事な存在だ。もちろん、お父さんも大事な存在だけど、子供はお父さんの影響を大きくなるまでに直感できない。最初に、お母さんは子供に全部あげる人だ。

しかしながら、幼稚園に子供を8、9時間に預けるお母さんがいる。自分が子供であることを想像して。一番大事な人は、自分の一番大事な頃に、毎日のように何時間に知らない人に預ける。自分の将来にどんな影響を与えるんだろう。

そして、お母さんは何の利益を得るのだろうか?お金?どのぐらい?仕事だけじゃなくて、職業するのか?子供に物をあげるためなのか、自分のためにお金を儲けるのか?子供のためなら、子供はどっちの方が欲しいのだろうか:一番大事な人と一緒に時間を過ごすことか、もっとクソのおもちゃなのだろう?

聞きたいことがある:お母さんになりたくなかったら、なぜ女性は子供を産むだろう?

なんで「強い働いているお母さん」という神話が社会に押し付けられている理由を教える:フェメニストは男性と権力闘争していると思っているので、もっと権力を取るためにお金が必要だと思っているから。男性のお金に依存していなかったら、男性に支配されないってことだ。

基本的に、女性には職業することが保険契約なのだ:結婚することがうまくいかなくても、大丈夫だ。

質問です:「うまくいかないかもしれない」と思わらせる人と結婚することはいいアイデアなのだろうか?女性は離婚する準備をしている。「うまくいかないかもしれない」と思っている時に大事な関係を続けるのは大丈夫なのか?

提案があります:いい人と結婚するのはどうだ?ほら、一緒に話し合ったり、知り合ったりしてから、将来の予定があることを確認した後はどうだ?勢いに流さなくて、意識的に行為したり考えたりするのはどうだ?1人になるのが嫌だからじゃなくて、結婚したりから結婚するのはどうだ?便利な人じゃなくて、愛している人と結婚するのはどうだ?

フェミニストが言う通り、職業が必要ではない。いい関係が必要なのだ。

過去に、僕の個人成長に、お母さんがどんな影響を与えたか、理解しにくかった。前に書いた通り、ある頃にお母さんが一番大事な存在だったので、それはおかしいな。自分で考えられる大切な特性はお父さんのおかげだと思っている。しかし、前の女性の話を聞いた時、僕のお母さんは何を与えてくれたのか気づいた:時間と愛。快適な家を作ったり、美味しい食べ物を料理したり、守ったりしてくれた。お父さんはどうやって男性になるか教える前に、お母さんはどうやっていい人になることを教えてくれた。文字の読み方や卵のスクランブルの作り方を教えてくれた。僕が時々お母さんを傷ついても、お母さんは僕が進んでいる道を支援してくれた。いいお母さんの実例を見せてくれた。お母さんとお父さんの関係は、いい時、悪い時、信頼や許しのある成功した結婚の実例だった。お母さんは僕が思ういい女性の標準を設定した。

僕のお母さんは母であることを趣味やアルバイトとして扱わなかった。本当の職業としてお母さんの仕事をした。母であることに専念した。僕は、お母さんがした、僕を健康的でいい人になる努力の結果だ。その責任を誰にも渡さなかった。

僕の人生を反省したら、僕が寂しく感じた時があったけど、1人ではなかった。友達や仲間がいなくても、お母さんはいつもいた。

家の中で、お母さんは何もにしていなかったわけじゃない。お母さんとしての技能を育てていた。新しいレシピを学んでいた。室内装飾のセンスを育てていた。新しい掃除や洗濯する方法や機械を実験していた。僕の行為を観察して、早めに問題に気づいていた。周りの人たちを知らない人として扱わなくて、知ろうと努力していた。子供や孫が家を大変な状態にしていたけど、頑張って掃除した。お客さんを家の中に誘って、寛大な精神や愛を広げていた。

お母さんの家は他の夢を実現する邪魔していたカゴで、子供達は足の首にかけたウエートではなかった。お母さんが計画を作ったり、実験したりすることで、自分の性格を育てていて、その努力の結果を子供として将来にあげた庭だった。

母であることは「何もしないこと」と思ったら、自分のお母さんが悪い実例を見せたか、お母さんがしてくれたいろんなことを感謝していないのだ。今、自分の生活を反省して、その2つの可能性を考えた方がいい。

***

This week, I heard the stories of two women that made me think about the importance of mothers.

One woman left her rural home and went to the city to attend the funeral of her son. Her son had recently gotten divorced. She found out shortly afterward that he had committed suicide. In a note he left behind, he wrote that he was lonely. From what I’ve heard, the members of the woman’s family are not good at communicating. The woman and her son had not been in contact with each other much.

Unfortunately, this is not the first son of hers to commit suicide. Some years before, another son was the first. It’s likely that he was quite lonely, too, as you would expect of someone that decides that death is easier than living. What goes through the mind of a woman as she weeps over the body of her son a second time?

It’s a very sad story. To me, it’s a story that teaches that communication is important. Making and nurturing relationships is important. Humans aren’t suppose to be alone. If we are alone, we die. We need to communicate honestly and openly to develop good relationships with others.

The other woman is a new mother that wants to go back to work. However, it doesn’t appear that she has fully considered the costs of doing so. There are obvious financial costs to consider, such as gasoline and kindergarten fees, but the more important cost is the loss of time, as well as the future of her child.

In the very early stages of life, everything happening around a child is shaping their future. They most likely will have the personality they have at 7 years old for the rest of their lives, so it is most important during that time for them to have a lot of contact with their parents so that they can help their child develop healthy personality traits. Their educational success or failure is heavily influenced by their parents both in early childhood (parents who read to their children can increase their success in school dramatically) and later in life (parents that talk to their children about school and what they are learning dramatically increase their success in school). There are certain genes that can be activated by the environment their parents create (this is part of epigenetics) which can determine whether their children are criminals or not, or if they are sexually promiscuous or not.

To children, their mother is the most important person in the world for a long time, especially during early childhood. Of course, their father is very important, too, but they don’t directly recognize his influence on them until later in life. In the beginning, their mother gives them everything.

But then, many mothers drop their children off at a day-care or kindergarten for 8 or 9 hours a day. Imagine you’re a child. The most important person, at the most important time in your life, puts you in the care of complete strangers for hours and hours almost every day. How does that effect your life now and in the future?

And what does the mother gain? More money? Exactly how much more? Is she going to have a career, or just a job? Is she working to make more money to give her child things, or to buy things for herself? If for the child, which does the child want more: time with the most important person in their life, or more goddamn toys?

The question is: Why does a woman have a child if she doesn’t want to be a mother?

Let me tell you one of the main reasons the “strong working mother” myth was pushed on us: because feminists believed that they were in a power-struggle against men, and that for women to have more power, they needed to have money. If they aren’t dependent on men for money, then they can’t be dominated by them.

In essence, maintaining a career for a woman is an insurance policy: if the marriage doesn’t work out, she isn’t helpless.

Question: Is it a good idea to get married to someone with whom things “might not work out”? Women are preparing for the chance of divorce. Is it a good idea to go into an important relationship with the idea that “it might not work”?

Here’s an idea: How about getting married to the right person? You know, by talking and getting to know them first, and learning whether you two have similar plans in life for the future? How about thinking and acting consciously, rather than by momentum? How about getting married because you want to, not because you’re afraid of being alone? How about getting married to someone you love, rather than someone that’s convenient?

You don’t need a career, like feminists say you do. You need good relationships.

In the past, I struggled to recognize the influence my mom had on my personal development. That’s strange since, as I said before, she was the most important person in my life for a long time. Some important things about my character that I value most, like my ability to think for myself, I attribute to my dad. But, when I heard those two stories, I realized that my mom gave me something incredibly important: her time and her love. She gave me a comfortable home, good food, and protection. Before my dad taught me how to be a man, my mom taught me how to be a good person. She taught me how to read and how to cook scrambled eggs. She let me be who I wanted to be, even if I hurt her some times. She gave me an example of a good mother. Her honest relationship with my father was an example of a successful marriage with ups and downs, trust and forgiveness. She set the standards I have for good women.

My mom didn’t approach her motherhood as a hobby or part-time job. It was a full-time career that she devoted herself to. She committed wholeheartedly to her task. I am the result of her conscious, deliberate effort to make me into a good, healthy person. She didn’t pass the responsibility of making me into a good person on others.

When I look back on my life, although there were times when I felt lonely, I was never alone. Sometimes I didn’t have friends or companions, but I always had my mom. She wasn’t out in the fields or at the office, she was with me.

At home, she wasn’t sitting around “doing nothing”, she was developing her skill set as a mother. She was learning new recipes. She was developing a sense of interior decoration. She was experimenting with new cleaning methods and devices. She was observing my behavior and recognizing early when there was a problem. She was actively working to know the people in her life, rather than just letting them pass through her life as near complete strangers. She was keeping her home clean, no small task for someone with children and grandchildren constantly making messes everywhere. She was inviting guests into her home and spreading her love and generosity to others.

Her home wasn’t a cage and her children weren’t weights around her ankles holding her back from achieving some higher goal. Her home was her garden, the place where she developed her character through planning and experimentation, and where she passed the fruits of her labor on to the future through her children.

If your idea of motherhood is staying at home “doing nothing”, then either your mom was a bad example or you don’t appreciate what your mom did for you. Now would be a good time to reflect on your life and consider which is true.
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