News / USA

New Yorkers Share Mom’s Wisdom

New York subway musician Christopher Campbell thanks his mother for the gift of a spiritual life. (VOA/A. Phillips)
New York subway musician Christopher Campbell thanks his mother for the gift of a spiritual life. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Adam Phillips
— Sunday, May 12 is Mother's Day in America. It's traditionally a day for appreciating the ways our moms have nurtured us and tried to give us a good start on life’s path. 

Every day, New York subway commuters are treated to the soulful sounds of Christopher Campbell singing and playing his battery-powered organ for spare change and a smile. Campbell himself says he is a happy fellow, thanks largely to his mom.  
 
“My mother is long gone, long passed, but one thing that my mother really gave me was grounding me in spirituality by taking me to church and just understanding about love and be strong and to have faith, whatever comes,” Campbell said.

It was the faith and trust she placed in him that has meant the most to Dulinda Munasinghe, a Sri Lankan-American working in a photocopy shop.

“My mom gave me all the freedom I needed, and she told me ‘Don’t misuse it.’ And I think that was the greatest help I ever got in my life, because if I were to hold and restrict myself, I would have rebelled or something," Munasinghe said. "But since she gave me all the freedom, I grew up to be a great kid. I think I really appreciate that from my mom and I love her.”

Just down the street, Ian Joscowitz works hard to keep his supermarket clean and his customers and employees happy. His mother is a big part of why.
Ian Joscowitz's mother told him "work is sweet." (VOA/A. Phillips)Ian Joscowitz's mother told him "work is sweet." (VOA/A. Phillips)
x
Ian Joscowitz's mother told him "work is sweet." (VOA/A. Phillips)
Ian Joscowitz's mother told him "work is sweet." (VOA/A. Phillips)

"Something my mother said to me many years ago, she actually said it in Yiddish, but the essence in translation was: ‘Work makes life sweet,’" Joscowitz said. "And it always stuck with me, and it has always been a driving force in my life. You have to feed your family. You have to put a roof over their head. Security. Your family. Leisure. These are the sweet things in life.”
 
One mother had some hard-won advice to pass on to her daughter, now a young, single mother herself.

"What my mama taught me was basically not to depend on no man and to be very independent," said Alexandra Ferreras. "And ever since then, that’s what I do. I’ve been working since I was 16 because of her. I buy myself everything that I need and what my daughter needs.”

Bill, wearing Afro-centric clothes, says his mother focused as much on past heritage as she did on future concerns.

“When I think of my mother, I think of her instilling [in] me the beliefs and the spirits of the ancestors and helping me do our family research," he said. "Just in a couple of weeks, I will be placing a dedication for my great-grandfather because of a family bible that she inherited. I stand on their shoulders and that’s the important thing at this age. I am 71 now, so hey, I must have gotten something from it."

Gene credits his mom with health and a love of knowledge. “My mother always told me take my time, study, go to school and stay in school. Education brings you a lot further in life. I am 40 now, my birthday just passed, and I am thankful to be living. I am healthy. I have everything to thank her for.” 
Mustafa Khan's mother taught him to never to speak ill of others. (VOA/A. Phillips)Mustafa Khan's mother taught him to never to speak ill of others. (VOA/A. Phillips)
x
Mustafa Khan's mother taught him to never to speak ill of others. (VOA/A. Phillips)
Mustafa Khan's mother taught him to never to speak ill of others. (VOA/A. Phillips)
   
Mustafa Khan’s mother offered practical advice.  

“My mother taught me not to talk behind people’s back because what goes around comes around," Khan said. "Now, I don’t talk bad about people behind their back, because if I do, people talk bad behind my back."

For Jan’s mother, wisdom was in the details. "My mother told me that I should always have a nice wallet.  The idea was not to buy a cheap wallet, [but] to buy a good one; the reason being is that you see it every day...It’s a combination of practicality and beauty in your life."

Just a few pearls of maternal wisdom New Yorkers will be contemplating amid the flowers, the chocolates, the hugs and the fancy brunches on Mother's Day 2013.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid