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Mothers represent unconditional love. (No news there.) Not all of them qualify, of course, but enough do to inspire a holiday when Americans spend billions of dollars on gifts. We celebrate the mysterious biological/psychological bond that exists between a mother and the child she bore—a bond that often grows more powerful over the years. She may not always like you or support you, but she always loves you, even when you aren’t particularly lovable. (There are exceptions.)
The TV series LONG LOST FAMILY demonstrates that some mother/child bonds can hold firm decades later even when the two were parted at or shortly after birth. For many, only dogged determination and detective work can eventually reunite them. In spite of the fact that another woman stepped in to adopt and raise the child (well or with difficulty), in happy cases the original bond still feels important to both mother and adult child.
Unconditional love is a gold standard even in other situations—such as the romantic “true love” reverently described by the characters in THE PRINCESS BRIDE film. Unconditional. Think about it. No exceptions. No amendments. Perpetual. Unbreakable. Unassailable. Love. Period.
Non-biological mother stand-ins—such as fathers, adoptive mothers, close friends, relatives, etc.—may demonstrate unconditional love. A perfect example is Armond’s partner Albert (played by Nathan Lane) who functions as a flamboyant but deeply loving stand-in mother to Armond’s son Val in the American version of THE BIRDCAGE (Armond played by Robin Williams). Many of us survived and thrived at least partially due to the love of people who did not give birth to us. They all deserve to be celebrated.
What if we were capable of showering not only mothers, but also friends, neighbors, strangers, even ourselves with unconditional love? We can’t like everyone and we don’t like anyone all the time, but what if we could love everyone? We wouldn’t be able to intentionally hurt them. We’d have to forgive them. We’d have to strive to do what we could to make their lives a little better, treating them as we would want to be treated. What if we could?
A day to celebrate both the person or persons who gave unconditional love and that love itself is worthy of billions of dollars. Maybe all that love will spread! Wouldn’t it make our world more satisfying than fear and resentment do?