By Patricia Gonzalez
As women and mothers, to care for others comes very naturally to us. We are bearers of life, and our bodies were designed to nurture. We nurture our children, and those who we hold closest to our hearts. But do we ever nurture those who are outside of our typical circles? Are we ever able to reach out, and do what we do best as mothers to make the world not just a better, but smaller, more friendly place?
In a world that is growing increasingly connected by social media, we find ourselves ironically feeling increasingly distant from others. It is as though we build walls with our profiles to intimidate, alienate, and yet at the same time we desire so much to be admired. So what can a mother do to bridge these growing gaps? How can we better connect to our neighbors?
1. Start with the person nearest to you. To quote St. Mother Teresa, “never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person next to you.” Is the person in need a colleague at work? Your younger sister? The nanny of your child? Every person is bearing some sort of burden, and if we take the time no notice, there are ways we can ease this for them.
2. Keep it simple. It does not need to be a grand gesture. Sometimes all a hurting person needs is a good listener who is kind enough to ask “how are you?” And then there’s food–which is the easiest way to any living, breathing, human being’s heart.
3. Be brave. There’s nothing quite like the fear of rejection to keep a well-meaning person away from someone she knows she needs to help. “What if she gets offended, or defensive? What if she is fine, and I am reading her all wrong?” are some of the questions we may ask ourselves. But at the end of the day, we will never know until we try, and will be much more at peace with ourselves when we go to sleep at night. This way, there will be no room for regrets.
As mothers, we have a special power to influence the world around us…not just by the way we raise our children, but also by the way we use our gifts–our sensitivity, our compassion, our selflessness–to spread kindness and love in the world. We can do this one child, one person at a time.
Patricia Gonzalez is MOMCENTER’s Editor. She has two adorable daughters–ages 1 and 2, and is married to a man who inspires her to be a better woman everyday.
She is a woman on a mission, and believes that motherhood is not limiting, but empowering. Join her on her journey by following her on instagram at @patriciaogonzalez.