By Peter Levinson
The movie “300” elevated the Spartan battle of Thermopylae to everyday knowledge. The actors depict the Spartan Warriors as having the highest levels of courage, valor, and strength.
Though historically, there is not a written account of how out of the thousands of Spartans, King Leonidas chose the 300 to go into battle with him and ultimately sacrifice their lives for Sparta. There is, however, a mythos around it. He did not choose them for their battle prowess, proven bravery, or close companions.
A tradition holds that the 300 Spartans were chosen for their mothers and wives.
No doubt was in King Leonidas’ mind that he and his 300 warriors would die. It would be whether or not Sparta would rally behind their sacrifice. To raise the entire Spartan Army against the invading force of the Persian Empire. If the mothers and wives fell into a depression and despair, so would Sparta.
If the mothers and wives were strong, so would Sparta be. Sparta remained strong after the loss of the 300 men because the mothers and wives of the fallen rallied not only Sparta but all of Greece against the invading Persians.
This month we celebrate Mothers Day. Mothers Day celebrates the influence mothers have on children and society. Mothers are the sculptors of society’s children. It is in their hands that our future generations’ success, values, culture, and growth will be decided. That is no small task. It is a heavyweight that every mother carries at the birth of their child.
We honor the men and women who sacrifice so much for others. Let's take this opportunity to celebrate the mothers behind men and women who would not have the values they have if it was not for the mothers and wives in their lives.
Suppose I can offer up a challenge to you, the reader. Take a moment and write down the values, ethics, and accomplishments in your life. How did your mother shape those ideals in your life? Now that you know, let her know.