It’s not just the Scouts motto and it doesn’t just refer to emergency preparedness.
To be prepared is to be disciplined and obedient. It is to have forethought in situations that may occur. It is being willing to do the right thing in a given moment. It involves initiative, motivation, and integrity.
With the recent events of Hurricane Sandy, two groups have exemplified this. The military and our emergency response professionals (police, firefighters, EMTs and the like) show up when everyone else has fled to restore order, peace, and presence. Their training, by and large, involves preparing for situations that they may have no control over, may not know the outcome, and may be potentially life-threatening. They may not know what the situation holds or what will come of their efforts, but they know they are equipped in mind and body to face whatever they encounter, and they do so because there is a high cost. Lives are depending on their preparedness.
I’ve seen preparedness personified through another group – one that tends to receive little recognition, and they often do not ask for any. They simply do what they know has to be done, at any cost, because they are wired to protect and to serve. They restore order and offer a comforting presence. They are mothers.
From the time of conception, those who chose the path of motherhood endure rigorous mind and body preparations until they must become obedient to their bodies and disciplined to see it through the delivery of a new life. Many preparations take place beforehand, and they will continuously adjust their strategy to always nurture, always protect, and always encourage the well-being of their child. A life depends on their preparedness.
My dear friend delivered her baby girl during the hurricane, though in a state removed from the paths of its destruction. She has been preparing for this event a very long time. She has received advice from those who have gone before her, taken medical precautions, packed necessary items, and prepared for the baby’s arrival, but no amount of preparation could position her for what would be the most tender and precious moment of her life – that moment when she held her baby girl for the first time.
Though she will prepare for many things in her daughter’s life, they will all catch her a bit off guard, and often take her breath away. That’s the way it is with mothers. Even when her daughter is grown, she will look into her eyes and see her precious baby girl.
Life has a way of doing that.
I know. I am a mother too. I’ve been through the training. I am prepared. I will defend and protect. It’s what we do.