Have you ever found yourself wondering if anything you do actually matters? Or if you as a person matter?
Our part, as mothers, does matter — greatly. Mothers are the core strength of the home. What happens in individual homes can affect society, both positively and negatively. We need to cultivate healthy and functional homes for our children.
Recently, religious leader, Elaine S. Dalton addressed audiences around the world. She related a quote from William Shakespeare that says, "What-e'er thou art, act well thy part." In other words, whatever your circumstances may be, do the best you can.
Mothers influence by example
Children look up to their mothers and often imitate their behavior. It is of paramount importance for mothers to set a positive example for their children. The hypocritical old saying, "do as I say, not as I do" will not work. Children often repeat whatever behavior they observe, regardless of what they are told.
Respect starts at home
If you want your children to be respectful, you have to be respectful yourself. It is necessary to be respectful toward your spouse, leaders, the law and others such as teachers and the elderly. Even if you disagree with something, you can still find a way to be kind and respectful. Your attitudes will be reflected through your children. Also, if you want your children to respect you, you need to respect them.
Teach your children to know who they really are
Dalton explains that we are all children of God. This knowledge can help children and adults to act accordingly. With this divine heritage, we can find strength to live better and help others to do so also. Knowing who we are can make all the difference in how we think and act.
"Act well thy part."
As mothers and parents, we must always be striving to "act well thy part." Whether we need to work on patience, love, understanding, forgiveness, responsibility, organizing or even cooking, that is our job that we signed up for as parents. How can we teach our kids to do their best if we are not similarly trying to achieve our best? Teach your child how to be their best self regardless of circumstances and backgrounds.
Home is the foundation upon which society is built
If homes around the world are failing, the result is a failing society. We need to raise children who are strong enough to withstand the inevitable temptations and trials they will face. It is an individual as well as a collective effort.
Nurturing and love at home are key
Like sunshine and water are necessary for plants, children need to be loved and nurtured. Above all else, provide a home that is full of love and safety for your children. Through this, they will not only gain a strong foundation of love, but will also be more willing to accept what you are teaching them.
If you're thinking that as one mom you can't change the world, consider this quote by Anita Roddick, the late founder of The Body Shop, "If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito." Though somewhat humorous, the point is clear: even one individual can have an influence on society — good or bad.
We matter. You matter. You can make a powerful difference in the world by simply making a difference in your own family.
Finally, this quote by religious leader Gordon B. Hinckley sums it all up:
“We must never lose sight of the strength of the women. … It is mothers who most directly affect the lives of their children. … It is mothers who nurture them and bring them up in the ways of the Lord. Their influence is paramount. …
“… They are the creators of life. They are the nurturers of children. They are the teachers of young women. They are our indispensable companions. They are our co-workers in building the kingdom of God. How great is their role, how marvelous their contribution.”How magnifiscent is their effort