Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 9, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, Muy 9, 1970 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAlD 5 Margaret Luckhurst The Annual Ganging-Up On Mother ARE, I'm sure, many middle-aged mothers like myself who each year shave with me a nervous apprehension when Mother's Day rolls around. Assuredly, we appreciate our children's legislated show of love and respect, nevertheless we cannot help but view this annual gangiiig-up on moliier with some misgiving. For, whether sire likes it or not, mother on her very own day must set aside apron and oven-mitts symbols of her climb a shaky plas- tic pedestal where, for a time, she will be queen of all she sur- veys. In her honor, as a kind of re- quiem to a grand dame, family squabbles are kept to a mini- mum, routine chores are taken over by progeny who dutifully give them a lick and a miss, and she is subjected to senti- mental exhortations on her vir- tue, slavish devotion, inspiring and untiring efforts and so on. If she hasn't been alert enough to think ahead, she's also fated to become the unwilling recip- ient of several unappetizing, in- digestible meals. Not only that, Experience has taught her that it will take her at least four days to get the kitchen back to order again, and some items of kitchenware disappear each year, never to be seen again. It's enough to wash mother off her pedestal in a flood of tears. To begin with, the idea of saying a nice modest little thank-you to mother was pretty sound. It vas 1905 when Anna Jarvis, a maiden lady from Vir- ginia first came up with it. It seems her own mother once a year entertained the mothers of children in her Sunday school class. Way not do it on a broad- er basis, Anna thought. So she organized a trial run at her own church, and mothers young, old, and deceased were honored in hymns of reverence, readings of praise and prayers of thanks- giving. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. on Mother's Day, and even to my Mother-in-law on Mother's Day, kept cash registers clang- ing imd guilt-complexes assuag- ed. In fact anyone with a hang- up on a relative can find a suit- able Mother's Day card lo send her (or him too, for that mat- ter, for 'to my husband on Mother's Day' is found in belter stores everywhere) and you're sure to be 'home free. By the time I was old enough to know what it was all about Mother's Day was in full spate. Church services with all those old songs about dear old mother kept me gulping (lie whole time. The funny Uiir.; was, I could not separate fact from fiction, and the fact was that my mother hated Mother's Day with some- thing bordering fanaticism; the fiction was in mother herself. She didn't seem to be what the sentimental songwriters had in mind, for there' just wasn't any- thing sweet and little an od about her. This isn't lo insinuate that mother wasn't a lady. Heaven forbid! She was everything mothers were supposed to be and more. It's just Uhat she was so very energetic and practical. She could ride horseback like Buffalo Bill and when I. was only seven she had me out by ths barn pegging at tin cans on the fence mitb a rifle. When I sing 'M is for the many things she gave me', I'm not talking about her old Dresden pitcher, or a hand crocheted table cloth. I mean mother's old sawn-off shotgun which she prized more than any of her other posses- sions. Nothing mother could say would discourage her children how- ever, from conforming to the Mother's Day Act. "I know you love and appreciate she'd protest, so "don't go buying me a lot of junk." Somehow this dictum didn't seem quite right to us, so each year mother received a plethora of slips, blouses, flowers, scarves, jewellery, perfume, and enough bath oil and salts to soften the waters of the Great I felt that appraisal somewhat unrealistic, but it appealed lo my children. In consideration of the new mother image, last year they paolccl their resources and presented me with a Weight Watchers course. My husband, influenced perhaps by Iheir choice, presented me with a rake and a new lawnmower, although I'd hinted at a garden swing. I wonder if they were trying to tell rne something. Perhaps it would be belter if we exemplified the tradition of Mothering Sunday established generations ago in England and celebrated the second Sunday in Lent throughout the churches. This modest service dedicated to mother and c'hild, somehow has escaped the overtones of commercialism which destroys the true significance of the day. In Oanada, some churches have already dispensed with saccharine Mother's Day pro- grams replacing them with a Family Day service which at- tempts to spread around the glory hitherto concentrated on Mother. This innovation appeals to me and many other mothers and grandmothers who find Mother's Day a bit much. Furthermore I think Anna Jarvis would hap- pily approve. J7p, Up And Over Carried away with success, Lakes. She had to buy a bureau Anna envisaged a day set aside to keep it, all in "What mothers for all mothers in the country. After vigorous lobbying and pes- tering of congressmen a resolu- tion was passed establishing Mother's Day in perpetuity. Anna chose her mother's birth- day (which that year fell on the second Sunday in May) as The Day. Carnations were her mother's favorite flower, there- fore Anna suggested that white carnations be worn in memory of a dead mother, pink or red for the living. But sentiment and commerce joined hands in a frenzy almost equal to Christmas. In short or- der Mother's Day became sec- ond only to Christmas in gift- giving, card sending, telephon- ing and telegraphing. This com- mercialism wasn't what Anna had in mind, and to the end of her days she tried to reverse the trend but without success. Business knew when it had a good thing. Unfortunately Anna, as well as mothers, could see that the whole issue of honoring mother quickly got bogged down in gen- eralities. There didn't seem to be any clear terms of reference. For card companies, realizing that mothers make up only a small part of the population, widened the category to include she sighed once, leave us alone day." Now older, wiser, and consid- erably mothered, I can appre- ciate her point of view. Being a mother is thick with fringe benefits, and we don't need over- done sentiment to remind us we are appreciated. If we've re- ceived our children's love and respect, we have undoubtedly earned it. When I look back on my young mother days, I can almost taste the lumpy porridge and charred pancakes my loved ones honor- ed me with on Mother's Day, but gradually, as they grew old- er, I was able to coax my fam- ily to modify all the honoring and they seem to be getting the message somewhat. They share with me, I think, some of Anna Jarvis' distaste for the high pressure commer- by Bryan Wilson Book Revieivs Permissiveness Examined cialism surrounding all the spe- cial 'days' we involve ourselves were SDld- with ip an attempt to commun- icate our esteem. one daughter dole- fully pointed out recently, "the mother image just isn't what it used to be like Whistler's Motier and Laura Secord and those old girls. Today's mother is groovy and hep. She wouldn't know what to do with doilies for the piano and knitted bed-socks. Summer hill: For iiirT Against edited Harold II. Hart (Hart, 271p, S9.75, dis- tributed by George J. Mc- Lcorl Ltd.) years ago A. S. Neill's ac- count ol1 his approach to ed- ucation in his boarding school, Summerhill, in England failed to interest a single bookseller in the United States. Since then, however, the book has be- come required reading in at least GOO university courses and 1969 some copies The publisher now offers an- other book which helps to ex- plain the phenomenal attention being given to "SummerhiU: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing." Fifteen outstanding writers in education, sociology, and psychology give their eval- ations of A. S. Neill's ideas. Each contribution is prefaced by a picture and brief account Objector To CBW all and anything of the female _ _________________...... gender. Cards to 'my sister' on She "wants eye niakVup "baby of the qualifications of the in- Mother's Day, and to 'my aunt' dolls or a trip to Hawaii." dividual to make an appraisal. When I read Summerhill a few years ago I was attracted to the magnificent 'spirit of love which A. S. Neill sought lo communicate to the children placed in Ms care. Although I had some reservations about The great secrecy which sur- J1'3 approach especially in rounded the CBW stockpiling calls into question the military argument that it is intended as a deterrent. Mr. McCarthy points out that a weapons sy- "pARLY last year U.S. Con- E'em cannot be a deterrent if a gressman Richard D Me- potential adversary doesn't know it exists. Protestations that America will naver use these weapons first ring hollow in face of the evidence of the use. of chemi- cals on people and vegetation in Vietnam. Even the argu- ment of having to keep pace with the U.S.S.R. is unconvinc- ing when there is notMng to in- The .single exception to tills appreciation is. Max Hat'ferty, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, whose scathing denunciation of A. S. Neill and his' school provides a clue to why he is so disliked by student radicals. Fred Heching- er, Education Editor of the New York Times, -writes that "only the most computerized misanthrope could totally dis- agree" with A. S. Neill. Those who might be inclined1 to evaluate SummerhiU by ref- ence to permissiveness would do well to consider what John Holt, lecturer in education, has to say on that subject. He says permissiveness is an imprecise term. "Nobody in the world not even the most fanatic kind of old fasMoned, complex- fearing a child to do everything. And nobody, except those few twist- ed souls who like to chain a cMId to a bedpost or lock Mm in a closet, permits a child to do nothing. Some permit some things, others permit others." Two of the writers specifically mention A. S. Neill's startling procedure of "rewarding" chil- dren for stealing. They point out' that this is not a kind of ultimate in permissiveness but a technique for arresting steal- ing in some children. Some of A. S. Neill's theories about sex, natural goodness and repressive religion are spectacularly out of date and are adequately dealt with except perhaps those about re- ligion by several of the writ- ers. Two or three of the writers only touch obliquely on Summerhill as they expound educational theories of their own. Taken together the essays provide a stimulating and use- full commentary on Summer- hill and A. S. Neill who are in- separable and perhaps un- repeatable. DOUG WALKER. The Working Woman The Ultimate Folly: War by Pestilence, Asphyxiation and Defoliation by Richard D. McCarthy (Vintage paper- back, 17Gp, S2.25, distributed by Random Carthy and Ms wife viewed a television program on British, Canadian and U.S. preparation for chemical snd biological warfare. He was horrified by what he saw and angered by the realization that he must have voted money in Congress for CBW research. This meant that deception was being em- ployed because nothing in the appropriations indicated that the United States was engaged in chemical and biological re- search with military aims. Inquiries by Congress man McCarthy soon disclosed that ignorance of what was going on in this area was very extensive among the legislators. He then began pressing lor information and was able to arouse his col- leagues and citizens sufficient- ly to force- a re-examination of official policy. Most of the information in this book will IK known to peo- ple who have followed the pub- lic debates during the past year. Seeing it all compiled in one book brings home afresh the enormity of man's folly. It is possible that the arsenal of germs and gases now in hand cannot ever be fully dismantled and will remain a constant threat to everyone. his running of the school I com mend e.d the book to parents. It was interesting to read the 15 appraisals and find that the majority of the contributors could see no acceptable blue- print for education in Summer- hiT- but appreciate the fine qualities in A. S. Neill himself. Guess Who? The Crazy Ape by Albert Szcnt-Gyorgyi (Philosophical Library, 93p, dicate such weaponry exists MAN IS the crazy ape. He ap fllPl-P Af la a el- dVio TT C C T? liit- t. v_ u__i there. At least the U.S.S.R. has never had accidents, such as have occurred to the Ameri- cans, to embarrass them, The best parts of this book are the latter chapters. In the early chapters there is not as much of the personal expe- rience which enlivens the lat- ter parts. A hopeful note is struck in the last chapter in wMch tlie author writes about the prospects for a return to reason. Certainly it is hearten- ing to know that it is still pos- sible to campaign for a cause and get results as has been the case with Richard McCarthy. Technical and documentary malerial of a very valuable na- ture has been kept out of the main text and appended to the end ot each chapter. TMs ma- terial totals 70 pages. DOUG WALKER. pears to be insanely bent on destroying himself and the world which is Ms home. Now in his late seventies, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize win- ner in 1937 for his discovery of ascorbic acid (Vitamin would like to see youth assert their power and take over. He says tire present world is a ger- ontocracy, dominated by peo- ple whose brains froze up be- fore the atomic age. There will be many who will appreciate the sentiments ex- pressed by the author. Yet this is not a particularly striking book except for its brevity (there are really only 66 pages of The sweeping general- izations and simplistic solutions spoil ils potential impact as a piece of anti-war literature. The book consists of 18 essays and seven prayers. DOUG WALKER. The Noil Deductible Wo- man, a handbook for work- ing wives and mothers, by Sheila Kicran (Macmillan IWpp, paperback, TT'S always so refreshing to read an author with simi- lar views, and as a wife and mother, Sheila Kieran sneaks with authority. She is able to point out the inadequacies of the legal and social aspects of full time employment for" wives and mothers, but with- out Fricdanistic overtones. The book is easily read, like visiting with a good friend. It's full of information on laws, pro- vincial assistance, day care centres, meal planning, etc. in a very down-to-earth and. person-to-person manner and should be considered a must for any woman considering em- ployment. Women already in the ranks will get an emotional lift from Mrs. Kieran's views. She pre- sents" studies to back her argu- ment that children of working "mothers aren't necessarily neg- lected as the molhers some- times fear, and next door neighbors often contend. As the mother of seven live- ly youngsters she has obvious- ly learned the satisfactions of creating family time together and the enjoyment of liltle mo- ments alone or with her family. Working should not be, and doss not have to be, a drudge. If it is, .1 working woman is probably better off at home. The decision to work is a personal one and Mrs. Kicraii is liappy to let a woman .make her decision as long as it is made after due consideration with all attendant factors, and made together with her hus- band. The chapter on deciding to work should be read by any husband who has ever "allow- ed" liis wife to work and then penalized her for it through her pay cheque. Honesty about oneself and one's own situation are prime factors in a decision to work. Once made, however, no feel- ings of guilt need be entertain- ed despite the restrictions so- ciety tends to impose. Working does not make a wo- man unfeminine. The author theorizes that perhaps one of the really beautiful things about women taking their place in the working world is that men and women may take on more of each other's best qualities. Women may become more forthright, more tough-minded, more realistic. Men may be- come more loving, may learn to give themselves more, may bo less afraid to show their feelings. Each reader will find Ms or her own favorite chapter. As a handbook it will be turned to for information and solace. The reader is not asked to sympatliize wilh women, mere- ly lo accept the fact that thous- ands of women work, most of them capably, and that thcir work is needed to keep the wheels of business and indus- try moving. A woman going lo work does work, she isn't just going to work. What more recognition could any woman ask for? MARILYN ANDERSON. Focus on the University By J. W. FISHBOURNI OPP Maybe But Canadian QN the eve of the Or.e Prairie Province conference (that's an awful cliche, but the conference docs start tomorrow) it is natural, perhaps, to speculate about the outcome, to ponder some eventualities that may arise, either during or as a re- sult of this conference. Some of the pos- sibilities are sobering, even awesome. This business of western separatism is particularly troubling. I realize that the sponsors and planners of the conference entertain no separatist notions, and have no intention of even raising the question of a separate west. But even if the matter is never mentioned, it mil be in the minds of some of the registrants. There has been too much talk about it on the prairies, too many fears raised recently by the Parti Quebecois, [or the question of re- alignment within Confederation to be se- riously discussed without all the possibili- ties, including newly autonomous divi- sions, being in people's thoughts and minds. No matter how they may feel about it, and however resolutely the con- ference management tries to avoid it, the spectre will be present. Suppose just suppose that the data and opinions presented to this conference should make it apparent that union of the three western provinces would result in substantial advantages to westerners, and clearly show that their merger would re- sult in a strong and viable union, econom- ically, socially and politically. What then? How long do you suppose it would take a few aspiring politicians to spread the word? The slory would be simple: A better deal exists for the west, but needs to be wrested from Ottawa; an indepen- dent would not have to ask Ottawa. Most fervently I hope that nothing of tie kind is indicated, because I for one fear more than any political eventuality i can visualize the breaking up of Can- ada, winch would follow inevitably on tha separation of Hie western provinces. Even less than it could sustain the separation of Quebec could Confederation survive tha loss of (lie prairie heartland. Dismemberment would follow as a mat- ter of course, and would not be long de- layed. The conspicuous interest of France in the natural resources of Quebec the manifest motive for Us brazen, albeit in- termittent meddling in Canadian affairs would immediately become pointedly oper- alive. American economic interests in Canada aru too extensive to be left "un- and ninny U.S. politicians and business interests have long had an avari- cious eye on our clean ivaler, our forests, our oil and oilier minerals. Even now, while we arc a large and wealthy country with NATO and Atlantic Alliance affilia- tions, and some remnants of the old but still respected Commonwealth um- brella, at limes can scarcely musler strength lo ward off foreign economic and political encroachment. But as two or perhaps three or even four small coun- tires, we would be plucked like ripe plums. Of course there arc some who would eagerly accept the idea of being folded lo Uncle Sam's broad bosom. Speaking for myself. I think we have all the problems we need without adding Vietnam and now Cambodia, racial strife, the nuclear arms race, crime in Ihe streets, and the new "shoot-lo-kill" approach to sludent protests. Maybe I am gelling old and set in my ways, but this is one status I'd prefer to see remain "quo." The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY Man And The Monkey have often denied that they were descended from monkeys, but the fol- lowing bit of anonymous verse suggests that the monkeys may not like the idea either: Three monkeys sat on a coconut tree Discussing things as they're said to be. Said one to the listen, you two, There's a certain rumor that can't be true; That man descended from our noble The very idea is sure a disgrace. No monkey ever deserted his wife, Starved her babies and ruined her life; And another thing you will never A monk build a fence round a coconut tree And here's something else a monk won't do- Go out at night and get on a Or use a gun or a club or a knife To take some other poor monkey's life. Yes, man ornery cuss- But, brother, he didn't descend from "Become what you really said Niet- zsche. But King Lear's cry is that of mil- lions, "Who is it that can tell me who I am? I would learn that." Man is an ani- mal, bom of the flesh, but man also is born of the Spirit, in a magical moment of time when Hie eternal invades the tempor- al, sensual world and all things become new in an unforgettable blessedness of peace and joy. This exiled child of God, unaware of the sources of his healing, mod- ern man groans his way from; specialist to quack, from vitamin pills to hashish, from hospital clinics to faith healers, from In- dian gurus to positive thinking, yet health of mind eludes him. He is driven by a madness born of spiritual starvation and he claws and lurches in his inner blindness. The channels through which creative forces flow are clogged, preventing that intuitive, immediate experience which is man's birth- right, of which Plato, the Christian saints, and all mighty artists, musicians, and writ- ers have spoken. Man is the alienaled personality, describ- ed as an embodiment of some function wherein he is used as a means and not an organization "the sexuaj "the economic "Ihe political man." It is all fiction, as is "the scientific man." If science be considered a mechani- cal process of computers, then science ia not a science, for science is a human search for truth through trial and error, through search and research, through dis- sent and free enquiry, through told guess and painful verification. Neither Is mt.n "a unit of manpower" nor a serial number on social welfare files. Man's meaning lies not j'u his past but in his potential, in his cosmic significance and self-determination, in his ability to shape the future. His mean- ing lies not in his individuality, but in his personality, that personality which relates to the world and other human beings, but most of all to God1. De Chardin observes that the only pos- sible progress on earth consists in the pri- macy and triumph of the personal "at the summit of which is consistent with the classical view that man can only be un- derstood from the point of view of the uni- queness of his rational faculties. This is too narrow. He can also only be understood from the points of view of liis conscience and will, of his being a child of God endow- ed with freedom and responsibility, and of the fact of his sin. Ho can also be only understood in relationship. This relation- ship involves him in hate with all its de- structiveness and Us opposite, love, with all its creativeness. Man is always in ten- sion between two worlds. To slip back to carnality and nate is, as Paul said, death. To become increasingly aware of and re- late to the other world of spirit and love is to find eternal life. Formed from the dust of the earth, as the Genesis story has it, man only realizes his nature and destiny is doing Ihe will of God, and God is love. Homely Alberta By Doug Walker JUDGING by the reaction of some of the ferns who had a preview of to- day's cartoon, D'Are Rickard is in for a bad time. They were highly indignant that Alberta's representative should have been the homeh'est of the three. I gave D'Arc an opportunity to do some toucliing up but he just smiled enigmatical- ly. He may be prepared to walk the back alleys and sneak into The Herald building next week but I am not. Therefore, in an attempt to ward oil any undue hostility that might bounce off on me for running the cartoon I am making public the suggestion of Editorial Page Assistant, Peggy Horns- by. Her suggestion is that Alberta represents the brains being contributed to the compo- site. That will get us into trouble wilh our guests from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at the One Prairie Province Enquiry but it will enable us lo live with our wives and fellow workers on Ihe distaff side. Hey D'Arc, have you got a really nice gift for Hiluegard for Mother's Day or was she your model for that attractive compo- site gal? Ticket Money tPHEN you buy an airline ticket, where does your money go? Just how Is it spent? Answers to thai question are not hard lo come by. A new one can be deduced from the annual report of Air Canada. The company just broke even last year, so the figures would be slightly different froin private airlines. A lickct costing would have been portioned out roughly as follows: inter- est on debt, and for operations. The for operations would then hava been split: to get your business, to pay for Ihc company's property, including planes, to run the company, to Jly the plane, 10 maintain the plane, lo "service" yon, fll, lo service the plane and traffic, -C.W.M.