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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid