Counting Stars Against The Black

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When people ask me why I love the Dave Matthews Band, I rarely even know where to start. One thing I inevitably end up mentioning is the way that every time I turn around, the band is contributing to another charity event or production. This Mother's Day is no exception, with the boys offering a live version of "Sister," to the "Every Mother Counts CD," a compilation disk aimed at bringing awareness to the high mortality rate of mothers around the world.

The Every Mother Count's campaign is asking that all mothers participate in an act of silence this Mothers Day, to show solidarity for women across the globe who have been injured, or died, during pregnancy or childbirth, due to a lack of adequate health care. Being a relatively new mother myself, I initially was unsure of how my own silence on Mother's Day would help anyone else. But then I was reminded of Quan Yin, the goddess of compassion, and her vow to forsake Nirvana, (not the band), until every living soul was allowed to enter. On a much smaller scale, I think this same idea applies to Every Mother Count's notion of "No Mother's Day."

Initiatives like this remind us all of how connected we really are. We are all the woman in Africa who dies during childbirth because she cannot get to a hospital, just as, we are all the woman in North America who sees her ob-gyn three times a week for pre-natal care. Everyone is made up of the same elements, and we all come from the same source. This is why the actions of each person matter so much. What we do does not only affect ourselves. Even when we cannot see the result, our behavior can cause a ripple that affects someone in a distant part of the world. Much like the well-known Butterfly Effect. This effect can be both positive or negative, depending on the initial action. It's quite a paradox, really. As small as each of us are in this Universe, we can still have enormous influence on the world around us. Marianne Williamson explains this phenomenon beautifully when she says that each time one person finds her wings, we all learn to fly.

And then there is the value of silence. Silence can be unbelievably powerful, both on a personal, and interpersonal level. Individually, people often use silence to connect with the small and still parts of themselves that cannot be heard amidst the daily chatter. And between people, shared silence can mean many things, some enjoyable, like when thoughts pass without words, and others awkward, like the dreaded pregnant pause. In addition, silence can make sound even more profound, which is interesting considering the fact that this voluntary quietude takes place just a few days before the start of the DMB summer tour.

And yet, with all of the compelling reasons to take part in "No Mother's Day," I can understand how some women, myself included, might find it a bit unattainable. And I say, that is okay too. If we can't commit to complete silence, maybe we could say a prayer, or partake in a ritual, honoring those women who have died during woman's greatest act of creation. We don't have to be perfect, it's enough to start where we are, whispering our intentions of love.

Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.