A Mother’s Might


Patricia Pereira-Sethi

Even as George Floyd’s life ebbed away, his neck pinned under the knee of an indifferent and cruel Minneapolis cop, he cried out to his deceased mother to help him. It struck a chord in many. Why would a 46-year-old man, who stood almost two metres tall and tipped the scales at 110 kilograms, turn to his Mama in his hour of desperation? A football player, a truck driver, a bouncer at a nightclub—all essentials for a tough-guy label—implored his dead mother to shelter him. He did not reach out to his late father, nor to his siblings, nor to his children, nor to his wife. He asked for his mother.

Shortly before he committed suicide at the youthful age of 34, the talented and handsome actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s writings were also penned to his late mother, who died eighteen years ago. Sharing a black and white collage of his picture interlocked with that of his mother, he dedicated an Instagram post to her, “Blurred past evaporating from teardrops. Unending dreams carving an arc of smile. And a fleeting life, negotiating between the two.” Earlier he had composed a poem to her memory: “As long as you were, I was. Now just in your memories I come alive. Like a shadow, just a flicker. Time doesn’t move here. It’s beautiful, It’s forever…” And “Do you remember? You promised that you would be with me forever, and I promised you that I would keep smiling no matter what. It seems we both were wrong mother…”

Is the mother-son bond so special that, in the hour of death, grown men stretch out to their mothers, and to them alone? Do many men believe that it is their mother who will rescue them? Is it because they have full faith that their mother would never forsake them?

The American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that “Men are what their mothers made them.” And many psychologists contend that mothers play such a significant role in the lives of their sons, that the way they behave and react in their adulthood can be directly linked to their relationship with their mother.

No one understands a child better than a mother. From his birth till his mature years, a boy nurtures a deep-rooted connection to his mom.
Since this alliance is imperative to the overall
development and emotional health of the child,
sociological and psychological research details precisely how a mother influences her son:

 Boys who share a healthy relationship with their mothers from early childhood are emotionally strong and appear to have less behavioural problems in their lives. The strong attachment between the two fosters in him a sense of security and self-assurance. Studies indicate that boys who do not have this deep bond with their moms in early childhood turn hostile and aggressive in later years. Dr Pasco Fearon, of the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading, confirms this thesis: “Children with insecure dealings with their mothers, particularly boys, had significantly more behavioural problems, even when those behavioural problems were measured years later.”

A boy, who is loved and cared for by his mom, emerges a confident man. A nine-year-old study, published in Child Development magazine, outlines that the unconditional love and acceptance of a mother reassures her son that he is capable of being a good friend and lover. The study also reveals that, the more loving a mother is, the fewer are the chances of the boy being distant and cold.

 A mother who shares a close connection with her son takes a keen interest in his education—and this reflects in his academic grades. Besides imparting knowledge, she encourages him to become emotionally robust, which is an absolute necessity for healthy living. A mother, who invests and involves herself completely in her son’s education and life, helps him become successful, both professionally and personally. She becomes his friend, guide, philosopher, and steers him on the path to success.

 Emotional intelligence, imparted by the mother, helps the boy to develop the ability to articulate his thoughts. Thereby, he cultivates self-control, self-confidence and profundity, both in the classroom and in social settings.

 Boys raised by mothers do not believe that they must act like the tough guy always, or have the need to prove their manliness by squabbling with others. Their mother teaches them empathy, and that there is nothing wrong for boys to cry or express emotions. They learn the importance of building long-lasting friendships without the need to lord over other men.

 A close relationship with his mother will help a boy appreciate a woman’s role in life and her contribution to humanity. He will learn to respect women in general: he is less likely to have superiority issues and an arrogant attitude towards his female counterparts.

 Boys who are close to their mothers avoid risky behaviour because a positive mother-son relationship reduces the influence of peer pressure. A recent US study reveals that a boy’s mother has a major influence on his attitude toward alcohol, drugs and sex.

 A mother who has a clear line of communication with her son becomes his confidante. He can speak out openly and share anything with her, even during his teenage and adult years. This helps him communicate without any fear and inhibition, not just with her: it bounces off onto his dealings with other people, especially women. Leading to a healthy, honest and stable character.

Several successful personalities in history attribute most of their achievements to their mothers. The great American president Abraham Lincoln declared: “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” The writer and poet
Rudyard Kipling has eloquently stated that “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” And Rumi, the Persian poet, wrote:
“We are born of love. And love is exemplified in
our mother.”

A sage has also commented that “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever…and their children respond in likewise manner.” George Floyd and Sushant Singh Rajput reflected this vividly in their lives—and in
their deaths.