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In honour of Mother’s Day
If you were asked what makes the perfect mother, how would you answer? Would you say she has to be beautiful, has to do my homework for me, has to give me whatever I want, has to cook delicious meals and clean the house every day? Are those the qualities that make a perfect mother?
Not so, according to Mahidol University. Good looks and giving in to every childish demand were not the criteria they used to choose seven mothers who were honoured as part of the nation’s celebration of our Queen’s birthday — Mother’s Day. Today you will read about the lives of the seven women chosen and learn what characteristics were used to choose ‘outstanding mothers’.
Certainly the strongest quality for any mother is her way of showing her love for her family. After you have read about each of the winning mums stop and ask yourself what she did to show her love.
There are other qualities, too, that caused Mahidol University to choose these remarkable women. Here is a possible list of qualities with a brief explanation.
As you read about each of the chosen women, think about the qualities above and decide which one she most strongly shows. For each of the mothers, write one sentence explaining how she demonstrated that quality in her life.
Here’s one example of a sentence about the Queen herself: Her Majesty showed her ambition to prevent the skill of weaving Thai silk from dying out by supporting village weavers.
Make today personal
All these mothers seem to have had bad luck; they were born poor, have children who are disabled, or had accidents. In spite of those misfortunes, they persevered. Fortunately, most of us – mothers and others – don’t have such bad luck; our lives are easier than these women’s.
However, there are less obvious situations that call for perseverance, flexibility or sacrifice. What about your mother? Which of the winning qualities does she exhibit? How are you going to tell her today that you appreciate those qualities in her?
Acharn Tom in poet tree (page 4 here in learning post) has one idea. Read his creative steps and see if you can write a poem to honour your mum. Or, is there another act of love and appreciation that your mother would love to get from you? Make this Mother’s Day personal for you Mum.
Looking at language
There is one other interesting way to look at today’s story. There are several examples of what is called politically correct and euphemistic language.
Politically correct is a recent emphasis in language and means using words or phrases or being careful in your behaviour so that you avoid making any particular group of people feel badly. For example people are now called ‘disabled’ while in the past, others may have joked about their disability. Even ‘handicapped’ is thought by some people to be a hurtful word. ‘Mentally challenged’ has replaced ‘retarded’; and ‘having a nervous breakdown’ is less hurtful than calling someone ‘mental’ or saying someone is ‘mentally screwed up’.
A euphemism is a word or phrase that people use to refer to something embarrassing or unpleasant, or to make something seem more acceptable than it really is. The example in this story is ‘passed away’ which means ‘to die’. The euphemism is thought to be more gentle.
OUR STORY FROM THE BANGKOK POST