It’s Not About You

As we just had Mothers Day here in the USA, it struck me how some people fail to understand the meaning of the holiday. Simply put, it is to celebrate mothers, which we all had (and some of us still have with us).

It’s not about fathers, women who are not mothers but wanted to be, people who want to adopt, women who never wanted kids, or about children, pets, or any other living beings. Just mothers. This would seem to be obvious, yet every year many people who are not involved speak up with comments that amount to “what about me?”

There’s a saying that seems relevant here, although this is not the context in which I first heard it:

If it does not apply to you, don’t make it about you.

The word “holiday” is a shortened form of the term “holy day,” as in “the holy day of ” some particular saint or other specially-recognized person or group. It’s important to remember that, when something is “holy,” it is separate from everything else, in its own class with only other holy things.

A holy thing is not profane or mundane or common.

(And don’t even get me started on how commercial interests have muddied the waters by refusing to keep holiday “seasons” within their proper limits.)

To designate a holy day for recognition is to declare that what’s being recognized is special and we will spend this day focused on this special thing.

So, we really don’t need to hear from those not in a romantic relationship on Valentine’s Day, those who aren’t Americans on the 4th of July, those who aren’t Christians on Thanksgiving and Christmas, those who aren’t Muslims on Ramadan or Eid, those who aren’t Jewish on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, those who aren’t fathers on Fathers Day, those who aren’t mothers on Mothers Day, and so on — especially as most of them / us have a holiday on the calendar, as well.

I understand that it hurts to feel left out, but these holidays are not about you.

If it does not apply to you, don’t make it about you.

They are about focusing attention on one special thing for a brief period of time. As an adult, you should be able to take turns. That’s all this is — letting something or some one else be the center of attention for a bit. So, please let go of the microphone and let the designated speaker have their moment. Please just let the holiday be about the special thing.

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