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JOHN EGGERS COLUMN: What would Moms do?

John Eggers

I'm like you. If your mother has passed away, you probably think about her nearly every day. You think about things you wished you would have said to her. You think about questions you wished you had asked her. You think about the happiness she tried to bring into your life. Most of all, you think about the unconditional love that she showed you.

I was fortunate to have a wonderful mother, two wonderful grandmothers and a wonderful mother-in-law. They all had several things in common. They all loved their children—deeply. They all showed compassion toward others. They all smiled and laughed and hugged. Most of all, they all knew what love meant.

I have said in this column on occasion that if women were in charge of the world, we would have no wars. I can't see any woman declaring war against another country when she would know that innocent children were in danger.

If men were smart, if men showed a half-ounce of wisdom, if men had half a brain, before they did anything, they would ask themselves, "What would Mom do?"

You might think I am pretty hard on my own kind, but when you think of what men have done in the course of history, when you think of all the deaths that have occurred because of pride, lust, wealth or power, you have to think of men as having only half a brain. And then you think about all of the children who have died or lost their parents or ended up starving, women weren't responsible for this.

This isn't to say that all decisions that women make are good ones. But, when it comes to the treatment of children, 99 percent of women know the meaning of compassion. When you look at children around the world, refugees for example, I am not sure that men know about compassion or even care about kids. If women were in charge, they wouldn't allow:

• Children to be homeless or go to bed hungry.

• Children to be deprived of medical treatment.

• Children to be without a school to attend.

• Children to be without a country.

• Children to be without decent shelter.

• Children to be without parents.

• Children to be around guns.

Women would ensure that all children have the opportunity to live a carefree happy childhood with enough peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese to eat, toys to play with and books to read.

Melania Trump initiated a new program this week called "Be Best," which is focused on the well being of children. I hope it does well. I think her heart is in the right place. I hope she has the courage to question any policy maker decisions that would cause harm to children.

I marvel at all of those women who work outside the home and still care for young ones. I realize husbands help but the burden is still on the wife. I see women in the grocery stores with a young one in a car seat and two smaller ones hanging on to the shopping cart. Now that takes some kind of magic.

Women, of course, live longer than men do by about four or five years. It's during those latter years that they can finally catch their breath. Those women that are alone but have time to cruise around the world, I say, "Good for you!" You deserve it.

My mother and father loved to go on trips in their camper. Usually they would stay within the confines of Minnesota and visit our state parks. Those were the times in her later years, which my mother enjoyed the most. The camper was her cruise ship. If I were ever to be president, I would award every mother a ticket on a cruise ship when they turned 70.

If my mother were around today, I would say, "Thanks, Mom, for all of the things you did for me. Thanks, Mom, for all of the unconditional love you showed me. Thanks, Mom, for letting me be me but still caring enough to guide me down the right paths. Thanks, Mom, for washing my clothes, cooking my meals, giving me some spending money when you didn't have much yourself, waiting up for me when I was out late, and reminding me after I was married to call you when we got home safely. Thanks, Mom."

If our moms could do anything today to make our world a better place, what would they do? They would wrap their arms around every child and never let go until the world was safe for all children. Moms, rise up, it's your turn!

Riddle: What did the fish say when he swam into the wall? Dam! (Our Moms would never allow us to tell this riddle when we were young.)

100 percent graduation rate

A local movement is underway to ensure the area has a 100 percent high school graduation rate. Here's some tips on how you can help us achieve that goal:

1. All teachers can help kids graduate when they ask themselves, "What did I do today to help my students graduate?"

2. Mom, when you pay attention to how your child is doing in school, your child is more likely to graduate.

John R. Eggers of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.