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Today is Mother’s Day. One of our grown children delighted me with a vase of beautiful flowers (cattleya and hydrangea) and a lovely card. The other of our children is currently working in a faraway continent that is ravaged by conflicts and poverty where motherhood comes with hefty cost. I feel blessed by having such wonderful and loving people as our children. Yet, these days each time I think about the current state of the world, and the motherhood and childhood in it, I cannot help but think of the fact of human reproduction as an amazing act of hope and trust in humanity, especially for mothers. It seems to require so much courage and responsibility to give birth to a child in such an unfair world. (Of course, unfortunately it is also true that women and men can bring children to this cruel world in a totally irresponsible and oblivious manner.) But, probably most of young people, particularly young men, do not think of becoming parents in the same heavy-hearted manner that I think of it now.

Reflecting upon our decision to have children, I think I did not really consider all the perils associated with having and raising totally defenseless infants and young children in this increasingly dangerous world (well, the world may have been always dangerous, but we became more aware of the perils that could fall on young children). On the contrary, I think I was quite arrogant to think that our children would be great and thus make great contribution to the world. So I have no right to even faintly criticize young hopeful people who bring their off-springs to this imperfect world. Indeed, we need them. Like any person (or living creature, for that matter), a mother is a work-in-progress. I hope that the world will be filled with responsible and loving mothers – and of course fathers.

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