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Is Mother's Day Altruistic?

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Actually, are most holidays altruistic in nature? My feeling is this - it was not my volitional decision to be born - that was my mother's decision. Her raising me was the responsibility and consequence of that decision. And on top of that, I haven't lived in her house in 10 years. What obligation, if any, do I have to honoring Mother's Day? Regardless if it's a "nice" thing to do for her and her feelings, if I don't feel like it and feel no appreciation, I shouldn't be made to feel guilty or "bad".

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What obligation, if any, do I have to honoring Mother's Day? Regardless if it's a "nice" thing to do for her and her feelings, if I don't feel like it and feel no appreciation, I shouldn't be made to feel guilty or "bad".

You have no obligation. This holiday can only be made altruistic if you don't like like your mother (to the point you'd prefer her out of your life) and the only reason you honor Mother's day is because you think it is your "duty" as the child to do so. Yes, popular culture does go about this way of thinking because it is a commonly mistaken notion (which leads to MUCH frustration) that the relationship between a mother and child is sacred *regardless* of the context, meaning regardless of the actual substance of the relationship, and that the love between them is automatic and does not have to be earned.

If you choose not to honor Mother's day and if you have people close enough personally to discuss such personal affairs with, you will most likely get a guilt trip with the very old "but it's your mother!" argument. In this case, ONLY try to defend your decision if the person you're dealing is not a person with an anti-conceptual mentality (lexicon link), because those kind of people have the nerve to accept your premises but deny your conclusion for literally no good reason other than emotion. Discussion will not persuade either one of you from your position. But, of course, it may be difficult to try and avoid certain discussions with them because they will not understand why discussion is futile.

If you do choose to honor Mother's day, then make sure it is on the notion that you love your Mother and that her happiness/comfort helps you with your happiness/comfort.

Edit: Adrock brought up a point I neglected, and is essential. If you celebrate Mother's day, then it is necessary that your Mother be of value to you. The reason I noted this is because (an error on my part for typing it alone in the first place) happiness and comfort alone isn't sufficient, and is far too whim-based.

Edited by Benpercent
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I agree with the two replies in this thread to date. I only honour Mother's Day because I love her and appreciate that she has helped me out even once I was an adult and she done it for selfish reasons. I don't think she realises just how self-centered her actions were, though she does recognise that her motivations were self-centered to at least some degree and that she wouldn't of done them otherwise. She admits that she wouldn't - and shouldn't - sacrifice by helping me in ways she cannot afford and should only help me in ways she can afford. Because she does it out of self-centered love and would never do it in a sacrificial way, I greatly appreciate it, so I am happy to celebrate Mother's Day is a selfish way.

Note: I use the word "self-centered" for what she recognises because she does not realise the proper definition of "selfish" and thus only aknowledges that she acts in a self-centered way, not a selfish way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I gave my mother nothing for Mother's Day. My mother hurt me terribly in many different ways and I do not value her as a mother and refused to be obligated to such a person. She is not someone whom I respect nor is she someone I want my own child to respect. My mother-in-law got a Mother's Day present however, because she IS someone whom I respect and love. Yes, there is that "but she is your mother, the only mother you'll ever have" argument; I can't count how many times I've had to defend myself on this issue.

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I gave my mother nothing for Mother's Day. My mother hurt me terribly in many different ways and I do not value her as a mother and refused to be obligated to such a person. She is not someone whom I respect nor is she someone I want my own child to respect. My mother-in-law got a Mother's Day present however, because she IS someone whom I respect and love. Yes, there is that "but she is your mother, the only mother you'll ever have" argument; I can't count how many times I've had to defend myself on this issue.

I am glad I have never had to deal with that.

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I am glad I have never had to deal with that.

Me neither! I would love to send my mom a Mother's Day card - but she has never celebrated it for religious reasons, so I don't out of respect for her.

My 2 youngest usually make me breakfast (they started it on their own when they were 6 & 4 - it is the same every year, cold toast with 1/2 inch of butter, and a warm glass of milk or water. But I LOVE it because what it represents. And they come in singing Happy Mommy's Day!) My two older stepdaughters sometimes will make me a card - but often they focus on their mother, which is fine. My son - well, sometimes he makes me a card - sometimes not. I know he appreciates me because he does nice things for me now and then on his own (such as makes me hot chocolate with out asking etc.etc.).

I don't think ANYONE should be obliged to celebrate Mother's or Father's Day if they don't value their parent. However, I also think that if they value their mom enough to bother getting a card, maybe think about showing that love year round with little things. A phone call maybe - I know I am bad about that. At the same time, I think it may be mean to use Mother's Day as a way to punish a mom - as in - "If they are not a b*tch this year I will get her a card" or "she ticked me off last week so no card for her!" It may sound silly, but I have actually heard of that happening. I think it is better to think about your relationship a little more longer term than, say the past few months. I am sure that is not the case with anyone here.

Mother's Day, to me, is a nice way to give a child the opportunity to show he/she really values their mom. After all - kids have bdays, Christmas, etc..etc..they get stuff and extra attention through out the year in many families. I have found that my younger kids get just as excited over Mother or Father's day as they do their own bday. My two youngest both put together a pot and seeds and soil for me at school - and they are just so proud to have been able to give something to me. This is a chance for them to 1. express to me how they feel about me; and 2. put their expression in some kind of special artwork or other thing they have PRODUCED.

They feel good - I feel good - it works out well. However, should I ever turn into a B^tch...I wouldn't expect them to keep doing this. Karma and all that.

ANYHOO...I must say that I think KIDS should give their mothers presents on the child's birthday - as a way of thanking the mother for not smothering them at birth. =)

I actually called my mom on my bday one year and said that. She laughed...good times.

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Me neither! I would love to send my mom a Mother's Day card - but she has never celebrated it for religious reasons, so I don't out of respect for her.

My 2 youngest usually make me breakfast (they started it on their own when they were 6 & 4 - it is the same every year, cold toast with 1/2 inch of butter, and a warm glass of milk or water. But I LOVE it because what it represents.

If all goes to plan by the time I have any children old enough to do that I will have a horse farm. That will mean I will need to get up early, too early for that to happen for me on Father's Day. I will need to have breakfast before doing the farm work of course.

I know he appreciates me because he does nice things for me now and then on his own (such as makes me hot chocolate with out asking etc.etc.).

Aw, jow sweet of him. :D

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ANYHOO...I must say that I think KIDS should give their mothers presents on the child's birthday - as a way of thanking the mother for not smothering them at birth. =)
That's a thought! I must remember that, and spring it on my son when the time is right.
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Just thought I'd say I gave my Mom Atlas Shrugged for Mother's Day. She's still at the slow part at the beginning, I keep telling her to stick with it--that it gets much better--. Well, you can lead a horse to the water...

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  • 3 weeks later...
Is Mother's Day Altruistic?

Of course it is.

Actually, are most holidays altruistic in nature? My feeling is this - it was not my volitional decision to be born - that was my mother's decision. Her raising me was the responsibility and consequence of that decision. And on top of that, I haven't lived in her house in 10 years. What obligation, if any, do I have to honoring Mother's Day? Regardless if it's a "nice" thing to do for her and her feelings, if I don't feel like it and feel no appreciation, I shouldn't be made to feel guilty or "bad".

Most holidays aren't altruistic.

I have noticed something in this and a few other posts on another forum by a like minded person. Being born and being raised by one's parents isn't a business deal. The parents raise children because of a certain kind of pleasure that is gained by simply raising children. I unfortunately don't have children so I can't speak about it much, but I have taken care of kids from time to time, and I've raised baby animals. It's simply a pleasure to watch them grow and teach them.

As far as you doing something for your mother on Mother's Day, well, that's up to you.

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No, it is not. Read the above reply posts for why it is not.

Kane, the way most people celebrate these kinds of days is absolutely altruistic because they never think about whether they should or not, they just do it out of a knee-jerk sense of requirement.

I celebrate Christmas for my family (wife and kids) if it were not for them i wouldn't. But I do because I love them and I like expressing it.

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My feeling is this - it was not my volitional decision to be born - that was my mother's decision. Her raising me was the responsibility and consequence of that decision.

And her only responsibility was to make sure you were fed, and got a minimum of education. THere are a lot of peole in third world countries who meet their ethical responsibilities and gave far less than you got. Anything above and beyond that was a bonus. If you didn't ask for it, then pay it back.

if I don't feel like it and feel no appreciation, I shouldn't be made to feel guilty or "bad".

This of course is the part that smacks of ingratitude and non-value. If you didnt' ask for what you got, then you should repay it in kind. No independant person would accept such things and not value them simply because they didn't ask for them.

Edited by KendallJ
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That only means they are altruistic, not that Mother's Day is.

:dough: Well if you want to put it that way this whole topic is useless as a day can not be anything other than a day because it is an inanimate thing.

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Kane, the way most people celebrate these kinds of days is absolutely altruistic because they never think about whether they should or not, they just do it out of a knee-jerk sense of requirement.

In a way I have to agree with Kane here. The fact that someone does something out of a sense of duty because they have not analyzed whether such a act is an act of justice, ie. that it pays a debt or recognizes a value; that is not alruism. That is simply immaturity. If an act is actually an act of justice, then to acknowledge it is not altruistic. The question would be if it is or is not paying a debt or recognizing a value.

I believe that in all but very few cases, recognition of the surplus your parents gave you is just. Whether that debt requires the celebration of a particular holiday is conextual.

Edited by KendallJ
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I think you are mistaken to attribute their actions to immaturity.

I think it shows the insidious nature of altruistic ideals in our society.

You should give your mom a phone call on mothers day. You should give mom a card/flowers/take her out for dinner...

The lack of thought and reasoning behind the action of honouring ones mom is because it is something that SHOULD be done.

No question, no debate, no choice... should, because society said you should...

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You should give your mom a phone call on mothers day. You should give mom a card/flowers/take her out for dinner...

Be careful here. For most people the fact that you should recognize the surplus your parent gave you is compelely true, and it is not altruism. It is justice. The fact that many mothers value such an action (or other spiritual actions) or would value it if it was done is also true.

I too think altruism pervades the culture, but this is not the statement on which to argue it because it inherenly is mixed for a majority of the situations. Most people dont' tease apart the differences and the fact is it's probably true (i.e. just) in many cases.

Regardless, Kevin's logic as presented is incorrect. What one feels about a situation is immaterial if the facts of reality dictate otherwise. That is highly immature. It is whim driven. Not saying anything about Kevin because he seems to be presenting it as a hypothetical or as an argument.

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It is not justice if done without thought. the old saying that it is the thought that matters is true in this instance as far as I'm concerned.

It is not an act of justice or an act of honour to do something because you have been told you should.

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In a way I have to agree with Kane here. The fact that someone does something out of a sense of duty because they have not analyzed whether such a act is an act of justice, ie. that it pays a debt or recognizes a value; that is not alruism. That is simply immaturity. If an act is actually an act of justice, then to acknowledge it is not altruistic. The question would be if it is or is not paying a debt or recognizing a value.

That is not what I was saying. I was not saying that isn't altruism. I was saying Mother's Day is not necessarily altruistic and can be celebrated in a selfish manner.

I believe that in all but very few cases, recognition of the surplus your parents gave you is just. Whether that debt requires the celebration of a particular holiday is conextual.

With the way she treats me now I am starting to think my mum no longer deserves it.

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It is not justice if done without thought. the old saying that it is the thought that matters is true in this instance as far as I'm concerned.

It is not an act of justice or an act of honour to do something because you have been told you should.

You misunderstand what Kendall said. He is saying it is justice if she earns it through providing you with surplus (assuming she doen it rationally).

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You misunderstand what Kendall said. He is saying it is justice if she earns it through providing you with surplus (assuming she doen it rationally).

No Kane, i understand.

I do not believe that any honour bestowed out of duty or compulsion is in any way payment for a value, no matter how much that honour may be deserved.

If as a child you are given a gold star for your work because everyone else got one is there any value to it?

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Kendall, I think you're right. What prompted this thought in the first place was when I thought how last year, I didn't call my mother on Mother's Day because I simply felt no responsbility to. Several weeks later when my mother brought this up, I said to her, "Well, you haven't been a 'mother' for 10 years when I moved out on my own." Also mind you - my parents made me pay "rent" as a minor from the first day I worked a job at the age of 15 to the time when I moved out. So I did fell I had repaid any debt, as Kendall said. Not to mention my mother was someone who stood by and did nothing while my father whipped me with a belt throughout my childhood from my earliest verifiable memory of being 3 years old. This may be a red herring but I feel there was a debt owed to me for the same reason. Nevertheless, this past mother's day, I did go to FTD and send my mother a $60 flower bouquet which she promptly loved - because this time, it made me happy to do so.

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There's no such thing as a volitional altruistic act.

If you send your mother flowers, you do so because she holds a value (or cost) which she provides (or withholds) in exchange for the act. If she holds no value or cost for you, you would not send the flowers.

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