“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” This is not only an aesthetically pleasing quote, but rather a full-blown poem written by William Ross Wallace, called “What Rules the World”. It refers to the divine yet laborious experience of motherhood, while praising mothers. And what better day to write this article than Mother’s Day!
Although this proverb does not mean that a mother literally rules the world, it does imply that a mother plays an all-powerful role in the life of her child: it means that a mother has power in the household and the community, the smallest unit of the world. The proverb celebrates motherhood and highlights the influence of a mother on the child. As a mother, women are the most defining factor that can bring a change to the society.
Thus, the proverb celebrates motherhood and her role in transforming a child into an achiever. Since the future lies in the hands of the kids of today, the future of the kids are today in the hands of their mother. In that sense, she is indeed the defining factor which can bring a greater change to the society, as a whole.
It is said that the best cure for a crying baby is to hold it near its mother’s heart, for as it listens to her heart beat, the infant is soothed and feels secure. That’s because the nine months spent inside a mother’s womb gets the baby synced with the sound of her heartbeat. In this way, a mother influences her child even before its birth! From our conception, to the end of all time, Mothers are always there to protect, guide and console.
As William Wallace says, angels showers their blessings on these hands! The hands that hold us gently from when we take our first breath, guide us as we take our first steps, wipe away our tears unfailingly, and feed us small morsels cheerfully! It’s a mother who sees our first smiles, and dreams of keeping it there on our faces forever. It’s a mother who creates the all-powerful permanent impressions on the child’s mind and gives the first moral training.
Children usually grow up under the influence and care of their mothers. A mother molds her child’s conduct, behaviour, and habits. The teachings of a mother shapes the character of the child. Her child chooses the virtuous path only because of her good teaching.
A mother is the teacher, mentor, guide, friend and companion of her child. The influence of mother’s teaching during his childhood remains with a person even when he grows up to adulthood.
“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”, means that the mother who rocks the cradle is also the one who exercises her influence over the minds of her children. From the day she picks her child up, she fills its mind with happy thoughts, nurtures it with positivity and shapes its future carefully. The proverb places the importance of a mother on the upbringing of a child and its impact in affecting his/her character, attitude, and personality.
The influence of a mother during the formative years of a child has a vital role to play in shaping the child’s behavior, development, and emotional growth. Whether or not he/she turns into a good and hardworking achiever or a lazy and careless loafer depends on the way a mother molds the child and its conduct and habits.
The most influential age is also the first six years of life. As Kate Douglas Wiggin, a notable American author and educator, once said, “Give me the first six years of a child’s life, and I care not who has the rest.” The impressions made on the child in his early years are not easily forgotten and have a great deal to do with the fixing of his character.
And the first six years of a child’s life is also usually spent being a Mama’s little angel. That’s when the child is showered with affection, or sometimes not. And that makes a world of difference in what the child grows up to be.
Mothers are our first friends and teachers, our very first mentors. We watch them through unblinking eyes, observing every little deed, hearing every single word. And unknowingly, we act in accordance with their actions too. It’s sometimes astonishing how similar children are to their parents in the manner of treatment of others.
All great rulers were once helpless children pampered by their mothers. If not for the mother’s caring, they would not have gotten to greater heights. History abounds with examples of famous people who made a great contribution to build up the human society to what it is today.
Their biographical accounts reveal that their mothers were mainly responsible to charter their lives towards the ambition of their preference. The well-known English novelist, Sir Walter Scott, was influenced by his mother who was immensely interested in poetry and literature.
We have Shivaji, who became a great Patriot and a warrior owing to the good teachings, inspiration and encouragements of his mother, in addition to Booker T Washington, who says that whatever achievements he has in life are due to the good qualities which he had inherited from his mother. So, a mother can raise a great leader to rule the world from the very day she starts to cradle him.
On the other hand, most noted criminals such as mass murderers or a serial killers have had poor childhoods, as any psychologist experienced in the matter will say. Examples include Ted Bundy, and Richard Ramirez.
Then there’s the story of Napolean Bonaparte, who finally became the Emperor of France and changed the entire course of the European history. His mother, Letizia, was a hard disciplinarian who always punished her children to teach and discipline them to face the reality of life.
This is what he says about his mother. “She sometimes made me go to bed without supper, as if there were nothing to eat in the house. One had to learn to suffer and not let others see it.” This kind of discipline taught to him by her must be the main reason for his successful military career.
There’s also another outlook to the proverb. Although it was coined by William Wallace in reference to motherhood, it can also refer to a father, brother, sister, nanny or any other caretaker. No one can deny the importance of a mother in a child’s life, and I will not even attempt to do so.
Then again, we can’t deny the possibility that the mother’s role could be played by any willing caregiver. The saying states that whoever cares for the child has the real power.
The person who raises the child in one way influences the type of society the next generation will live in. He/She is the one responsible for creating a persona that would become successful in life.
The future of any nation and race depends on the character and training the rising generation gets. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. They will be what the hand rocking their cradle makes them.