Who is a mother?

Simple definitions say it’s the female of the species that delivers a progeny. That’s the strictly biological viewpoint.

From the emotional and spiritual perspective, a mother to me is anyone who nurtures and takes care of one in need, be it a child, an elder, a patient or an animal. Lo! the definition now embraces a whole large section of living beings.

A teacher, who with a kind word can soften the blow from poor marks, is as much a mother as is the nurse who washes up the private parts of a patient. The elephant herd that protects the new born calf comprises a bunch of mothers. The crow feeding the noisy, ravenous cuckoo nestling is also a mother.

My grandfather who brought up his five children by himself after his wife’s untimely death was also a mother. The fire brigade team rushing through fire to save lives are all mothers. A hand offered to the blind man crossing a busy road is that of a mother’s, regardless of gender. The guru who shares his experience for your spiritual enlightenment is also a mother.

A friend, who stays with you through heartbreak, regaling you with jokes and nonsense, is also a mother as are all those strangers who rush to help you up, after a fall in a busy marketplace. The farmer who toils in the blazing heat to bring food to your table is also a mother.

So is the river that offers its treasure of water to the thirsty. Or the mountain that helps bring down the rains and fill the rivers. The air that pours in oxygen and the soil that helps crops grow are all playing mother.

Bringing us to the mother of all mothers – our planet Earth. But, she who has arranged for all the conditions to nurture and sustain life, is suffering at the hands of her most intelligent child.

The raw and nasty gashes left on her skin as we dig and mine for more and more minerals, the green cover that kept her cool is being torn apart and replaced with metal structures, the water for her many off-springs is being polluted and over-used by one, the air is choking, her beautiful garb has been frayed and disfigured with waste.

Still, she is patient and continues to give unconditionally, forgiving and hoping.

Can we, on Mother’s Day, take a small pledge to treat this mother a bit better?


    1. Avoid food waste and dispose plastic responsibly.

    1. Save trees from the axe by joining local groups.

    1. Carry a cloth bag when shopping.

    1. Travel with a steel glass, spoon and plate.

    1. Think twice before shopping for clothes/accessories. Do you REALLY need it?

    1. ‘Upcycle’ waste creatively to make beautiful stuff. Many groups are into it.

    1. Pick trash when you see it and put it in the bins.