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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.